Opening Soon: The Painted Ship Is Bringing Mexican Food and Live Music to Kitsilano

The new restaurant’s ‘60s-inspired digs are set to open in early March.

I’ve been creeping on 2884 West Broadway for a few months now: after Yaggers closed, the Kitsilano restaurant space first appeared abandoned (think boarded-up windows and outdoor furniture chained to the sidewalk patio). Then, there was movement: construction people going in and out, sounds of hammering, music blasting from behind an always-closed door. 

The almost-done interior of The Painted Ship at 2884 West Broadway.

But yesterday, the room was open for passersby to peek in—and it’s a very cool room. The almost-finished space is a new restaurant, bar and music venue called The Painted Ship. Owner Michael Brennan was painting (not a ship—the restaurant’s window frames) when I asked if I could step inside. 

The Painted Ship embraces a ‘60s/’70s style of décor: think bold reds, warm oranges, deep browns and vintage furniture. Brennan, who has been in the restaurant industry for 20 years and opened The Heatley eight years ago, says this will be a Westside extension of The Heatley’s vibe. “I love doing retro, music-forward spaces,” says Brennan. 


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Brennan designed the space himself, including the massive mural behind the bar, which features a classic Kits view: a cargo ship. The vintage chandeliers throughout the restaurant are local Facebook Marketplace finds. “One thing people really overlook is that Kits used to be the alternative counterculture area of the city,” says the owner. “There are still a lot of people who live in the city who identify with that, even though there has been a huge shift with the cost of living.” 

At the helm of this ship’s kitchen is chef Christian Chaumont (of Cuchillo and Mount Pleasant Vintage and Provisions). He’s basing the menu off of Tultepec, a pop-up he has been running for a few years. Chaumont grew up in Mexico, and says he named Tultepec after the Mexican city known for pyrotechnics. “It’s a good play on words for what we are trying to be: explosive and bold and dynamic and colourful and vibrant,” says Chaumont.  

On the menu, expect 12 share plates—that’s the way Chaumont prefers to dine—that merge authentic Mexican fare with Westcoast ingredients. An example: braised leek tetela with Salt Spring Island mussel escabeche, morita chili and fennel broth. “I like a dynamic night that gives you an opportunity to try different dishes, like how it would feel to be at a market back home,” he says. 


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And on stage, expect live music and lots of it. Brennan says that while The Heatley showcases a lot of roots and alt country, The Painted Ship will also spotlight alt rock, jazz and surf rock along with DJs that spin everything from soul and R&B to heavy metal. 

“The goal here to create a community space,” says Brennan. The Painted Ship aims to start rock and rolling in early March 2023—follow them on IG for updates.