Knifewear is back in town for another pop-up—and plans for a permanent location

Let’s face the facts: you probably can’t afford to buy a Ferrari. But a Japanese carbon steel chef’s knife, which with its sleek lines, smooth handling, and eye-catching looks is basically the culinary equivalent of one? That’s much more in the average Vancouverite’s price range. You’ll have an opportunity to kick the tires—err, edges—on a new toy for your kitchen this Saturday, when self-described “knife nerd” Kevin Kent is back in town for two pop-up shops. Kent is the founder of Knifewear, a Calgary-based store that has locations in Edmonton and Ottawa. And while Kent is out here in part to scout locations for both Knifewear and Kent of Inglewood, his grooming and personal care-oriented shop that’s like catnip for bearded hipsters everywhere, he also needs a break from all the doom-and-gloom that’s settled in over his home province. “I’m coming out to look for a place to open the shops, and I’m meeting up with one of my Japanese suppliers for a bit of R&R and fun. So, we thought, ‘Screw it—let’s just have a quick pop-up.’” The cash-only pop-ups will feature door prizes (free Kotetsu and Knifewear-branded shirts for the first 10 customers) and an opportunity to ogle the new line from Kurosaki-san, one of Kent’s favourite Japanese knife makers. But it’ll also give local collectors (and yes, those do exist) the chance to buy some one-of-a-kind Masakage knives that have been tweaked from the original design. “You know how on best-of albums or greatest hits albums, sometimes they’ll put in the live version instead of the regular version? We’ve kind of done that with some of the Masakage knives.” This isn’t the first Vancouver pop-up for Knifewear, and Kent says that each time he holds one he gets more and more questions about when he’ll finally pony up for a permanent postal address here. “It’s been mostly chefs, to be honest, but they’re always the earliest adopters. But we have people coming in all day saying, ‘When are you opening here? Why aren’t you here yet? Please open.’ It’s a really warm welcome—always.” That’s why, he says, he’s aiming to get something done this year. “Once I pen stuff, I’m pretty quick. I’m shooting for summer.” When/Where: Saturday, Jan. 23, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (Revolver Coffee, 325 Cambie St.), and 11 am to 12 noon at Fortknight Men’s Boutique (46 Alexander St.) | Cost: Free (the knives aren't, however)