The Evergreen Extension has been ferrying commuters westward since its early December opening but it's also drawing curious crowds from the big city looking to get a taste of what the ’burbs have to offer, particularly in Port Moody's evolving Moody Centre.
Thirsty Yeast Van types are hopping on the new SkyTrain line and discovering that Brewer's Row has some serious hops-and-malt cred, and since the summer, east Vancouver transplant Moccia Urbani has been offering the craft brew crowd snacks under the Salumist banner.
On the south side of St. Johns Street, Evergreen travellers can grab a wood-fired pizza at Spacca Napoli or something to cook at home from Meat Craft Urban Butchery.
Now, the new branch of the Millennium Line has also attracted a Vancouver restauranteur, whose latest venture will open this spring.
It's been just over a year since the Taps and Tacos window wraps went up at the northwest corner of the Station development in Port Moody, but with much of the infrastructure work now complete owner Scott McTavish said the next few months will see the restaurant finally coming together.
"We're getting messages daily wondering when we're opening," he told The Tri-City News.
But taking the space from a blank slate to a new restaurant came with a few challenges, including waiting on architects, engineers, applications and approvals.
The restaurant will feature a non-traditional menu of tacos and burritos using fresh, local ingredients as much as possible.
"It's not going to be the same tacos you had in Mexico City," McTavish said. "It's going to be things like Korean barbecue tacos, pulled pork, that kind of thing."
Drinks will include selections from Brewer's Row just a block below and a range of margaritas and other craft cocktails. The small indoor space will accommodate about 40 people, with more seats outside in the warmer months, when McTavish is also banking on a crowd of Rocky Point Park visitors to pick up a taco on their way down. And when hunger strikes for those who are enjoying a pint at one of the local breweries, Taps and Tacos will deliver to their bar stool.
McTavish's experience is with ventures in the hipper parts of the big city. He's taking on the taco scene after helming Notturno, an Italian tapas and cocktail spot in Gastown, for three years before it was re-invented with the same small plates and drinks theme but now with a Japanese focus under the banner Kozakura, where he's a silent partner. In addition to the PoMo restaurant McTavish is also opening Roots+Fruits, a cold-pressed juice bar and vegetarian health food restaurant at the edge of Strathcona.
It was the opening of the Evergreen Extension that led him to look east with friend and business partner Darron Hastick, whom McTavish credits with securing the Moody Street location.
"Our friends are moving out this way," said McTavish, a Vancouver resident. "It's more affordable but I don't think there's a huge difference in the mentality."
Opening Taps and Tacos is their way of bringing a slice of city life to the suburbs because, as McTavish said, "If I lived here, I'd want something like this to go to."