The Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino

A NOTE FROM CHARLES JANUARY 2018

https://www.wickinn.com/on-pointe/charles-note-january-2018

Happy New Year! I hope you found some peace and quiet during the holiday season.

There’s an exceptional feeling of positivity surrounding the beginning of 2018, and we are sharing in it here at the Inn while welcoming in some of the most dramatic storms we have seen in a decade. 

We’re currently in the midst of renovations, remodelling—dismantling, refurbishing, building and adding to—our amazing space. It’s our six-week “maintenance Olympics” and, in the interim, with everyday and every change it feels like a completely different world here. However, with the wisdom of Architect Leith Anderson, Interior Designer Anna Walentowicz and many, many helping hands, we will be opening the brand new On the Rocks Lounge and re-opening a refreshed Pointe Restaurant on February 9th; we couldn’t be more thrilled!

The action will carry on into an exciting spring, with the new Salal Space opening mid-March and the Showcase Wine Cellar—a project I have been aspiring to create for years—to follow mid-April. More details to come on those soon.

It’s a busy time, but we are proud of our hard work and we can’t wait to show it off! Our new additions are sure to leave an impression and make your next visit that much more memorable.

We look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Until then—  

Charles

CONTRIBUTED ON JANUARY 24, 2018

MANAGING DIRECTOR CHARLES MCDIARMID

 

 

Meat-centric 'The Shop' opens today and the menu looks amazing

DH Vancouver Staff | Oct 13, 2017

After many delays and long day dreams of devouring delicious meats on the North Shore, the highly-anticipated first public-facing Two Rivers Specialty Meats store and restaurant – The Shop – will officially be opening its door to the public on October 13 at 10 am.

This is an eatery and a traditional butchery that we are definitely excited to check out.

See also

Located at 180 Donaghy Avenue in North Vancouver, patrons who head here can expect a deli counter, and an eat-in grill with some pretty epic-sounding eats such as hot dogs, chicken drumsticks, cheese puffs, charcuterie, tallow fried beignets, and spicy red cabbage slaw to name a few.

You can also order beer and wine at The Shop, making it the perfect place to grab a bite if you’re in North Vancouver.

 

Dining-Room-2.jpg

Interior of The Shop (Photo: Adam Blasberg)

The Shop boasts a glass-walled dry-age room along with a European-style deli and take-away counter. Enjoy your eats at one of the 32 seats inside, or take your grub outside to the patio on nice days.

The look of The Shop was put together by a design collaboration between Domain Creative and Campos Studio, who worked to achieve a space that is open, modern, and totally comfortable.

Two Rivers is known for offering its customers Two Rivers Meats ethically and sustainably raised products from farms where their views line up. These include Cache Creek Natural Beef, Peace Country lamb, Cheam View Pork, Farm Crest Chickens, Canadian Rangeland bison, and Yarrow Meadows Farm duck to name a few.

 

Jason-Pleym-and-Margot-Millerd-Pleym.jpg

Two Rivers owners and husband and wife duo Jason Pleym and Margot-Millerd Pleym in front of their new space (Photo: Adam Blasberg)

Founded in 2007 by husband and wife duo Margo and Jason Pleym, Two Rivers has expanded gradually in the last decade from a couple of self-raised animals to a highly-streamlined operation with an expanded real estate footprint.

Modelled on a business prototype gaining popularity in the US (food fans may have heard of New York’s White Gold Butchers, for example), Two Rivers is hoping to make their new venture a destination for meat lovers from around the region.

The Shop by Two Rivers Meats

Address: 180 Donaghy Avenue, North Vancouver
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm
Instagram@tworiversmeats

With files from Lindsay William Ross. 

To read the full article click here: http://dailyhive.com/vancouver/two-rivers-the-shop-north-vancouver-2017

 

NORTH SHORE NEWS | Annual West Coast modern Home Tour features five unique homes

June 28, 2016 | Rosalind Duane

Pressed to pick his favourite, Michael Jaworski chooses a 1966 Barry Downs design that is nestled through a mature stand of Douglas firs and features terraced gardens and cedar woodwork.

An architectural student, Jaworski is also a curatorial programs assistant at the West Vancouver Museum, and this will be his first year helping with the annual West Coast Modern Home Tour.

“It’s a special way of sharing architecture and especially the West Coast Modern movement, which is so important to our collective history,” says Jaworski of the tour. And why is the Barry Downs-designed home his favourite this year?

“It’s clearly an exercise in various architectural concepts,” he explains. “It’s a great home to learn about the West Coast Modern movement because it so clearly embodies those concepts.”

Now in its 11th year, the tour is a popular event that showcases five unique West Vancouver residences that serve as examples of the West Coast Modern style of architecture. Homes on this year’s roster include a 1958 design by renowned architect Ron Thom with renovations by Russell Hollingsworth and an entry garden designed by Barry Downs; a 1961 residence by Daniel

White with a Japanese-influenced esthetic; a three-storey waterfront unit with wood framing designed by Russell Hollingsworth in 1988; and a 1956 renovated residence originally built by Henry A. Switzer.

The West Coast Modern tradition was something that evolved regionally, explains Jaworski. Main features of the style included integrating homes into the surrounding landscape and working creatively around local elements such as steep sites, rocky outcroppings, and mature trees.

“Within the West Coast Modernist architecture tradition there is quite a diversity,” adds Kiriko Watanabe, assistant curator. Overall features of the style were very responsive to the existing landscape, incorporating nature and using local materials like cedar and hemlock, she explains, “but within those more broadly defined concepts there is quite a diversity in architectural styles.”

Watanabe is particularly interested in discussing the Switzer house, which he built for his family in 1956. The original design featured curved walls, star-shaped cut-outs in the ceilings, flat roofs with wide eaves, and a cantilevered deck. Some of those features still remain.

“The interior decoration of this house was quite eye-catching,” says Watanabe, noting that the overall shape of the house is rectangular and it is not immediately obvious from the outside that the inside features more round and curvy designs.

Switzer also designed another home located on Mathers Avenue and Taylor Way that had a painted pink exterior and was quite noticeable to passersby.

The home had four elevated wings cantilevered from a central support shaft containing the stairs and front door, and in many ways was a Googie style, explains Watanabe. Googie is a style from the 1950s and ’60s, originating in southern California, that was influenced by car culture and the “space age.” Watanabe is interested in hearing from anyone with personal knowledge of Switzer’s pink house (which was demolished to make way for the Upper Levels highway) and/or has photos of the interior.

Jaworski says the West Coast Modern design continues to be a popular draw because of its timeless qualities.

“I definitely think anyone can appreciate it,” he says of the tour. “It’s fun to see the different possibilities for how people live.”

The West Vancouver Museum’s 11th annual home tour is on July 9, noon-4 p.m., followed by a reception at Eagle Harbour Yacht Club, 4-6 p.m. Prices vary.

For more information visit westvancouvermuseum.ca or call 604-925-7270.

- See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/living/home-garden/annual-west-coast-modern-home-tour-features-five-unique-homes-1.2289013#sthash.NcUfN7QK.dpuf

http://www.nsnews.com/living/home-garden/annual-west-coast-modern-home-tour-features-five-unique-homes-1.2289013

Home renovations completed in 2014 by Domain Creative Design Services, Anna Walentowicz

 

 The exterior of this home designed by Henry A. Switzer looks rectangular outside but has rounded features inside. 

The exterior of this home designed by Henry A. Switzer looks rectangular outside but has rounded features inside. 

 A unique entry decorates this renovated residence originally built by Henry A. Switzer. It is one of five featured homes on the 11th annual West Coast Modern Home Tour on July 9. 

A unique entry decorates this renovated residence originally built by Henry A. Switzer. It is one of five featured homes on the 11th annual West Coast Modern Home Tour on July 9. 

 

 

 

SCOUT MAGAZINE | Chinatown’s Sai Woo Prepares To Host 2nd Evening Of ‘Woo Talks’ On Feb. 23rd

February 16, 2016

Vancouver, BC | Sai Woo is pleased to present the second Evening of Woo Talks, Woo #2, which will take place on Tuesday, February 23 at 6pm in the downstairs Woo Lounge.

An Evening of Woo Talks is a monthly speaker series hosted by personal development coach David Frank Gomes on the last Tuesday of each month at Sai Woo. Woo is an intimate evening of short talks followed by a few thought-provoking questions designed to connect each topic to real life and encourage conversation.

Woo Talks are about sharing ideas, inspiring stories and life lessons to challenge conventional wisdom and facilitate the building of meaningful connections between participants. Talks are short, ranging from 5-15 minutes in length, and cover all manner of topics. The first Woo Talk took place in January and presenters spoke about everything from nourishment and alchemy to adversity and transformation. It was a sold out event that drew a lively and engaging crowd.

cont...

In the heart of Chinatown an historic storefront conceals the secrets of Sai Woo. Our modern dining room serves globally-inspired cuisine created with fresh ingredients and surprising, lighthearted twists. Cocktails are crafted with precision using top-shelf liquors, fine teas, and exotic fruits. The original Sai Woo Chop Suey first opened its doors in 1925 and flourished as a local hangout for decades, preserving some of Vancouver’s oldest history. Our location is also remembered as the popular New Town Bakery but today, Sai Woo brings new life to this historical landmark with a modern and innovative menu.

We offer a 113-seat main floor dining area, bar, and Chef’s Table with a 75-seat lower lounge and bar, designed by the masterminds at Falken Reynolds along with Anna Walentowicz at Domain Creative. Restaurateur and owner Salli Pateman, formerly of Yaletown’s Section (3) of 18 years, has immeasurable industry experience with a solid team of expertise at her side. Award winning bartender Justin Anello oversees the bar, Shilo Francis and Tracey Page manage the front-of-house and Chef Keev Mah leads the kitchen.

cont...

for full article click here: Chinatown’s Sai Woo Prepares To Host 2nd Evening Of ‘Woo Talks’ On Feb. 23rd


MONTE CRISTO MAGAZINE | PiDGiN and Sai Woo: Messengers of change.

by Tim Pawsey, September 21, 2015

sai woo interior

 

If restaurants are messengers of change, consider the significant and evolving role of two Vancouver spots, each in its own way helping to shape their adopted neighbourhoods.

When PiDGiN opened its doors on Gastown’s grittier edge, in early 2013, the upscale but hardly fine dining newcomer was met with howls of indignation and outright protest that such “gentrification” would prove to be the death knell of the community. Interestingly, however, no such outcry greeted the March 2015 unveiling of Sai Woo, right in the historic heart of Chinatown, almost right around the corner from Hastings and Main. In truth, most likely it was PiDGiN’s moniker that provoked the most: named after the term pidgin, meaning two or more languages coming together, it is also a reference to the restaurant’s location on the border of the city’s east and west and an homage to Pioneer Square, known also as Pigeon Park, right across the street. Fast forward a couple of years and you might be excused for wondering what all the fuss was about. Today, it still seems very much business as usual on Carrall Street.

Restaurateurs who open in what might be perceived as a more challenging setting don’t take such risks easily or without some degree of sensitivity. Both of these rooms spared no effort in reaching out to their community. “When we first opened, guests saw us as a fine dining restaurant because of our modern interior and clean plating,” says PiDGiN owner Brandon Grossutti. However, Grossutti points out that perception has changed over time; diners now view the restaurant as a more casual haunt for well-crafted dishes in a relaxed environment. He says regulars often come from close by, while the clean-lined room also draws its share of international visitors looking for “cuisine that truly represents the multicultural influences of our city.” New executive chef Shin Suzuki epitomizes those influences by combining his Japanese roots and West Coast sensibility with a keen appreciation for classic French techniques gained through working with the likes of Alain Ducasse at his Parisflagship.

A similar mantra drives the dishes that flow from Sai Woo chef Keev Mah’s open kitchen. Owner Salli Pateman, with Falken Reynolds and Anna Walentowicz of DoMain Creative for the design and Milltown Contracting for the building, created a dazzling space with a gentle tribute to the original Sai Woo Noodle Chop Suey, located there in the ‘20s. The menu, created by opening chef Douglas Chang, balances eastern and western influences: tea-smoked tuna with tuna confit and tea egg or fermented red tofu-glazed, tender pork belly with taro purée, along with occasional nods to Chang’s Jamaican heritage, as in Chinatown jerk chicken.

cont...

for full article click here: PiDGiN and Sai Woo: Messengers of change.


GEORGIA STRAIGHT | Photos: inside Chinatown's new Sai Woo restaurant

by Carolyn Ali on April 13th, 2015

click for link [here]   |   click for pdf [here]

Before I visited Sai Woo restaurant last week, I couldn't really picture what kind of food it served. The news release for the restaurant, which opened in late March, called the cuisine "globally inspired" with the dishes influenced by executive chef Douglas Chang's Chinese and Jamaican heritage.

Now that Sai Woo's menu is up on its website, the descriptions help to imagine what's on the table. And at a media gathering last week, I had a chance to try some of the dishes as a guest of the restaurant.

Have a look at the diverse offerings below—but first, a word about the brand-spanking-new room.

Sai Woo is located in Chinatown in a building with a rich heritage. It's named after the Sai Woo Chop Suey restaurant, which was at that location in the 1920s. 

Inside, the restaurant couldn't be more modern, and it's got the kind of style we're used to seeing in Gastown. It took over two years to renovate the space, and designers Falken Reynolds and Domain Creative's Anna Walentowicz have done a fantastic job.

 Photo by by   Carolyn Ali

Photo by by Carolyn Ali

I love the Persian ironwood trees, which are real but not alive—they're carefully preserved in a process that's kind of like taxidermy for trees.

  Photo by   by    Carolyn Ali

Photo by by Carolyn Ali

Sai Woo is a big restaurant with seating for 100.

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for full article click here: inside Chinatown's new Sai Woo restaurant


VANITY BUZZ | Opening soon: Chinatown chic at Sai Woo

Sai Woo is a chic, modern restaurant poised to make its debut in an historic spot in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Dramatic changes seem to be taking place at every turn in Chinatown these days, and, in particular, its food and drink scene is blossoming, making the neighbourhood more robust for higher-end dining than ever before. Sai Woo will soon be joining the ranks for an anticipated March opening.

Restaurateur Salli Pateman, formerly of Yaletown’s Section (3), is behind Sai Woo. The fully renovated space occupies the onetime location of the 1930s Said Woo Chop Suey, with two floors for dining and drinking in a 6,000-square-foot space; there are 113 seats on the upper level, 75 seats on the lower level (with its own bar and smaller menu).

At the bar will be Justin Anello, overseeing a menu of classics cocktails and signature Sai Woo drinks using housemade syrups and top-shelf spirits. Look for lots of Asian touches (spiked Vietnamese coffee, exotic fruit flavours) as well as a solid selection of non-alcholic bevs.

In the Sai Woo kitchen is Chef Douglas Chang (West, Bambudda) who will be executing a menu that demonstrates his passion for and skills with a meld of fare representing Vancouver’s eclectic tastes using ingredients from local producers as well as what’s available at their doorstep in Chinatown.

The interior, with design and construction overseen by Vancouver’s Falken Reynolds along with Anna Walentowicz of Domain Creative, includes touches like Bensen furniture, and glimpses of the old Sai Woo Chop Suey’s historic character, including filled brick walls and salvaged fir flooring.

cont...

for full article click here: Opening soon: Chinatown chic at Sai Woo

 Sai Woo   Address : 160 Pender Street, Chinatown  Website :  www.saiwoo.ca    Featured image: Sai Woo concept sketch by Falken Reynolds (Courtesy Sai Woo)

Sai Woo

Address: 160 Pender Street, Chinatown
Websitewww.saiwoo.ca

Featured image: Sai Woo concept sketch by Falken Reynolds (Courtesy Sai Woo)


EDMONTON JOURNAL | Upscale loos: the new frontier in eatery chic

MARTA GOLD, EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM  May 2, 2011

 

EDMONTON — Jaded by an excess of tapas, martinis, sleek modern decor and servers in small black dresses, urban hipsters are looking to sate their appetites for restaurant coolness in an unlikely place — the bathroom.

Yes, the new frontier for truly chic eateries is staked largely on porcelain and chrome, with understated designer furniture and lighting. If patrons are tempted to linger, chatting on their mobiles while relaxing in a Barcelona chair, so much the better.

Such scenes are a regular occurrence at Cactus Club at West Edmonton Mall, for example. The B.C. chain overseen by celebrity chef Rob Feenie has carved out a strange little niche for itself by building unique, buzz-worthy loos. “We get tons of comment cards weekly, and a lot of them say the washrooms are really cool,” says assistant general manager Shawn Rennie. “That’s one of the things we really pride ourselves on.”

Illuminated graffiti art sits above leather Barcelona chairs and sofas, bookended with Lucite tables from hot local design shop Dwell. Wall tiles are made from glass and poured concrete. There are TV screens in each stall and above the men’s urinals, and lighted makeup mirrors by the women’s sinks.

The chain’s design manager, Anna Walentowicz, calls these features “the X-factor” — the details that make people return to their tables talking about the john. “We pour a lot of money into our bathrooms,” she adds.

The trend seems to be spreading like — heaven forbid — soap scum. Competitors have upped the appeal of their facilities, designing bathrooms that fit with the sleek, modern furnishings of their gleaming new restaurants.

Just check out any of the newer eateries in South Edmonton Common, such as Joey’s, Earls or Moxie’s, where chic seating, fully enclosed stalls and high-end fixtures are de rigueur. Redesigns at hot spots such as Campus Earls have seen even the basement bathrooms get a chic facelift with huge, embossed black doors on each stall and crystal chandeliers for lighting.

As with most evolutions, it’s hard to pinpoint where or when the trend started. But there’s a good chance Cactus Club was at the forefront. “We seem to be the pioneers in this whole bathroom environment upgrade,” acknowledges Walentowicz, who has designed all 20 Cactus Club restaurants, including their unique bathrooms. The chain has been awarded the “best bathroom” designation by Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper for the past four years running.

It all started in 2000, when Walentowicz discovered a roomy lower level in the space that was to become the Cactus Club at Ashe and Broadway in Vancouver. She decided to turn it into spectacular bathrooms. The rest is lavatory legend.

No two washrooms in the chain are the same, and each has its own special features. “We’re always trying to build upon the last one,” she adds.

The move to beautify bathrooms is evident across the industry in newer, trendier restaurants, says Mark von Schellwitz, the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association’s vice-president for Western Canada. As the industry comes out of the recession, restaurants are looking for new ways to attract customers, he adds. 

“Paying attention to details like bathroom design is one way to stand out and enhance the overall appeal. Patrons will actually talk about a fancy bathroom and create buzz about the location.”

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Toronto, already known for its funky latrines, got tongues wagging around the world this Valentine’s Day when the owner, apparently jokingly, invited patrons to have sex in the bathrooms.

Opus Bar, a swank lounge in Vancouver’s Opus Hotel, offers restroom users closed-circuit video of what’s going on in the bar while they’re otherwise indisposed.

A glass wall between the men’s and women’s privies gives full disclosure — at least by the sink area — of what the opposite sex is up to.

Hygiene is another huge selling point for bathrooms in the age of H1N1 and superbugs. Most well-designed restrooms now have automatic dispensers for soap, towels and water.

At the Cactus Club, technology makes virtually every step hands-free. At the press of a button, the plastic-covered toilet seat automatically turns, giving each user a pristine surface to sit upon. Flushing is also hands-free, by stepping on a button in the floor.

The room is maintained with a precision bordering on OCD.

Timers in each loo go off every 15 minutes, lighting a red or blue switch (for women or men) in the dishwashing area, alerting a staff member to clean it.

The bathrooms receive top marks from Eva Polis, a local creative director with a penchant for the aseptic. She writes a blog called The Hygiene Hunter, detailing her humorous, worldwide travels in search of suitably sterile bathrooms, hotel rooms and restaurants.

“I’ve always been really focused on clean, and I always have a story to tell,” she explains.

She loves Cactus Club’s roomy stalls (less chance of touching something), foot flushes and hermetically sealed toilet seats. “You could spend as much time in their washroom as you could at the dinner table,” she adds. “It’s worth going just to use the bathroom.”

Polis hardly noticed the TVs in the stall doors. “I was too mesmerized by the plastic cover on the toilet seat,” she says.

At Wildflower Grill, where single-stall, simple bathrooms are adorned with wall murals and cool, minimalist sinks, cleanliness is also king, says co-owner Dan Taylor. “It’s a big reflection on the restaurant,” he explains. Every 15 or 20 minutes, someone — often Taylor himself — is in the bathroom, wiping water off the sinks, cleaning the mirrors and generally tidying up.

“I think when I first started in the business, it was important that the bathrooms were always clean, but over the years, it’s become that the bathrooms are another showcase of the restaurant, and they’ve got to look fancier,” he adds.

Even smaller cafes and restaurants are getting into the act, upping the look of their washrooms with fresh flowers, cloth towels or other extra touches, says von Schellwitz of the restaurant and food services association.

“Our industry is so low-margin and so competitive that any little edge that you can get to improve the customer experience, you’re going to explore. I think that’s what we’ve seen happen.”


BURNABY NOW | Local loos voted number one

ANDREW FLEMING, FLEMATIC WORDPRESS,  September 22, 2010

Winning washrooms: A South Burnaby Cactus Club has been awarded the distinction of having best restrooms in Canada.

The thrones at a South Burnaby restaurant were crowned the finest facilities in the land today. The Cactus Club Cafe commodes at 7320 Market Crossing were declared Canada’s top toilets after winning an inaugural online contest sponsored by Cincinnati-based Cintas Corporation.

Winning washrooms: A South Burnaby Cactus Club has been awarded the distinction of having best restrooms in Canada.

“We are incredibly proud to be receiving this accolade for our Byrne Road location,” said Cactus Club president Richard Jaffray. “We strive to bring our customers an affordable luxury experience at all our locations, and the restrooms are a part of that experience just like our food and dining rooms.”

The award was determined by thousands of votes cast at the website http://www.bestrestroom.com. A similar contest has run for several years in the U.S., but this is the first of its kind in Canada.

Contest surveyor David Brandt said there were more than 100 nominees in the contest, which was then narrowed down to five. Vancouver’s new Shangri-La Hotel was the only other B.C. finalist, while the remaining three are all found in high-end Toronto restaurants.

The Cactus Club restaurant’s washrooms, created by interior designer Anna Walentowicz, feature carpeted seating areas, flatscreen TVs, customized foot-flush toilets and stalls equipped with their own fans and sound system speakers.

“I know it sounds cliché, but it’s an honour just to be nominated with such a calibre of restaurants,” said Walentowicz in a previous interview with the Burnaby NOW. “Especially for a collection of restaurants like ourselves, we don’t often get put in that level or category.”

She said that while she is particularly proud of the Burnaby restaurant’s facilities, they aren’t a radical step above those found in most of their newer locations.

“Our new generations of stores all have something relatively similar, but we try to keep each location a bit unique from the rest.”

She added that the location near Boundary and Lougheed will soon be getting a major renovation.

The first Cactus Club Café opened in North Vancouver in 1988 and the company has since grown to 16 locations.

(This story was first published Sept. 22, 2010. © Copyright (c) Burnaby Now)


THE PROVINCE | Two Vancouver toilets make shortlist for best restroom

By Cheryl Chan The Province, JULY 6, 2010

Mirror mirror on the wall, where is the loveliest loo of all? 

Two Metro Vancouver toilets – at the Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver and the Cactus Club Cafe on Byrne Road in Burnaby – have made it to the shortlist of Canada’s Best Restroom. 

Survey editor David Brandt said five finalists were whittled down from more than 100 nominees based on cleanliness and the impression made on patrons. 

“It’s a broad criteria but they have to be memorable and how this translates to could be quirky, creative, thematic or luxurious,” he said. 

Understated luxury is the look the Shangri-La is going for, with four individually contained washrooms boasting marble sinks, amber mosaic tiles and Brazilian hardwood walls – each topped by a glittering Czech crystal chandelier. 

“It’s a private washroom as opposed to several people in one washroom so you have the space all to yourself,” said sales and marketing director Jeff Froehlich. The washrooms, located just off the lobby, are lightly perfumed with the hotel’s signature scent, the Essence of Shangri-La, piped through the air conditioning.

At the Cactus Club, there’s no fluorescent lighting, watered-down hand soap or one-ply tissue paper rolls to be found either. 

Its spacious washrooms feature floor-to-ceiling frosted-glass stalls, funky artwork and sitting areas: ­Barcelona couches and a coffee table littered with magazines in the ladies’ room and club chairs and a 37-inch TV, usually tuned to the big game, in the men’s.

“I’ve seen girls with their drinks having a seat there, powdering their nose and having a girls’ chat,” said design manager Anna Walentowicz. “It’s a little bit of a hangout.”

Both establishments are ready to flush the competition from Toronto. The other finalists are Toronto’s Spice Route Asian Bistro & Bar, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

This is the first year the contest, sponsored by Cincinnati-based Cintas Corporation, has been held in Canada, although it is already in its ninth year in the U.S.

chchan@theprovince.com


24 MAGAZINE | Look mom, no hands

by DHARM MAKWANA, 24 HOURS, March 22, 2008

Using the washroom without ever touching a wet handle or lever is the latest standard in customer care at Cactus Club Cafes across Vancouver. The restaurant chain's touchless washroom offers a full privacy stall equipped with hypoallergenic seat protectors, a foot flush and automatic soap dispensers and faucets. "Public washrooms are never a great place to go, so we want to make that customer experience as pleasant as possible," said Cactus Club design and development manager Anna Walentowicz.

Walentowicz said her restaurant washrooms are designed to ensure the same level of care found in the dining room and lounge area. Generally Cactus Club washrooms have high-end fixtures, leather seating, fireplaces, and TVs above urinals for the men. "Some people have a bit of a phobia of public washrooms in general so we try to make things as user-friendly and safe for everyone as possible," she said.