Undoubtedly, one of the best approaches in launching a new restaurant business is following the edict of “see a hole, fill it.” Such is the case with Field & Social, an elevated fast-casual salad-focused concept launching soon on downtown Vancouver’s busy Dunsmuir Street.
The “hole” that Field & Social will fill can ideally bridge the neighbourhood’s restaurant gap between the many casual grab and go spots and the more high-end power lunch spots that dot the business district. With a mind to move customers through a line where they can see their salads being built (following recipes, mind you–not in the style of another area newcomer like Glowbal’s Nosh), and put the emphasis on the freshness, local-ness, and uniqueness of what they are doing.
Field & Social is the work of three partners, Moe Samieian, Ali Pejman, and Stephen Collins. Collins, along with his Australian-born wife Stefenie, will be hands on at Field & Social. Collins brings years in the food and beverage industry to the gig, and says diners will be seeing him at the front door and working the floor when Field & Social gets off the ground, delivering attentive but not intrusive customer service.
Location is key, and Field & Social is moving into the Labor Temple building on Dunsmuir at Richards, a century-old building that has largely served as office and educational space. Now the bottom floor retail will have a decidedly edible focus, thanks to existing tenant White Spot, and the forthcoming Field & Social and neighbour JJ Bean, both in the renovation/build-out phase.
For Field & Social’s build-out, the space is completely sparse right now, but will soon be transformed into a split of kitchen and dining space with a clean, minimalist and Scandanavian-style aesthetic. Design accents will include copper sinks, marble bar, and granite counter tops, along with window stool and communal table seating.
Rather than lean on the kitsch of using cartoonish or garish-coloured giant veggie artwork to signal this is a spot for salads and fresh foods, Field & Social is going for a more elegantly reserved style. The goal is to really take salads to a restaurant level, the couple explains, with an eye on taste, healthfulness, and portion size.
The menu will feature a half-dozen salad-based entrees, of which four will likely be signature fixtures and the other two rotating seasonal features. Look for fun and bold ingredient inclusions, like ramen-style egg, double dressings, and grains on the farm-sourced salads. They will have a couple of soups, as well as some “guilt-free” snacks (think vegan, no refined sugar). The restaurant has tapped some top-notch culinary talent (though they can’t name names quite yet) to craft the menu, and will also reinforce the “know your food” notion through their beverage program, which will boast a custom kombucha on tap, and handcrafted drinks like iced tea and lemonades.
The longtime friends behind Field & Social are excited to be working together, particularly on a project that they hope has appeal to both office workers and food lovers, as well as the potential to expand to multiple locations around Vancouver.
Field & Social is hoping to be open for business by mid-January 2016, and will launch with opening hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.