By DH Vancouver Staff, DH Vancouver StaffMay 17, 2012 8:21 am
With the incredible success of the two existing East is East locations in the heart of Kitsalano and in Mount Pleasant, there is little doubt that many Vancouverites are counting down the days to Thursday May 17 when the sprawling new Chai Lounge opens at Main and 28th. The road to this opening was had more spice than silk as the owners had to battle city hall for the right to keep their beautiful BC Cedar facade, something the city thought was “unsustainable” and out of character for the neighborhood.
Luckily, the city relented as the owners received a giant outpouring of support from local residents and retailers. Main Street architecture remains a flash point as a number of developments are at odds with the quirky character and funky charm that gives makes Main Street the vibe that we all love.VanCity Buzz (VcB) chats with Mustafa Reza, who along with his sister Razavia, are the proprietors of East is East.VcB: First of all, congratulations of the upcoming opening. We were astonished to hear about the legal battle involving the sign and are thankful it is over. Will any menu items or drinks reference this fight? (De Niro’s Restaurant in Yaletown changed its name to Section (3) after the actor Robert De Niro sued them for copyright under section 3 of the legal code).
East is East: No, we will not be referencing the fight with the city hall in our menu 🙂
VcB: Is the addition of alcohol to the menu due to frequent requests from guests, or do you feel that the neighborhood would better support an establishment with drinks?
East is East: Yes we have decided to add alcohol due to frequent requests from our guests.
VcB: Will there be any new surprises on the menu?
East is East: Yes, we have added some exotic new dishes to the menu.
VcB: What was your inspiration to open the first East is East?
East is East: Vancouver is the Silk Route of the new world. Reminiscent of the ancient silk route that extended through China, India, Asia and the Mediterranean, Vancouver is a hub of diverse ethnicities. Seeing the possibility of unity in diversity, we’ve created a space where people from all walks of life can feel at home.
Chai Gallery and East is East is a space where the arts, cultures , and cuisine of different regions of the world converge. This new space is a synthesis of the best of Chai Gallery and East is East; it’s food, music and decor. Just as the oriental carpets adorning our walls are a work of many hands and a lineage of stories, our family and friends have worked together to weave a masterpiece of colour, texture, taste and sound that promises to gratify all your senses. We hope you enjoy your journey here.
VcB: Any plans for further expansion?
East is East: Maybe.
VcB: Finally, thank you for standing strong against the city, we cannot wait check out the new location.