A new restaurant has opened in downtown Victoria at the former location of Chuck’s Burger Bar and Lumberjack’s Bar and Grill.
Block Kitchen + Bar opened Friday (Jan. 13) at 538 Yates St., but has no connection to Chuck’s or Lumberjack’s.
“We’re not affiliated in any way,” Block co-owner and general manager Andy Burke said. “I knew taking over this space would have its own unique hurdles.”
Staff at Block will soon be training with Good Night Out Vancouver. The non-profit provides workshops on sexual violence prevention and tools to help keep patrons and workers safe.
“Good Night Out will offer important guidance,” Burke said. “The first goal was to get the place open, and now we’re going to get them in right away to set us up for success and safety. Our staff is all senior service industry people. The staff we’ve hired are all experienced servers. We’re on the right path.”
Block’s menu features fresh global cuisine with Asian flair and creative drinks.
“It’s small plates and large plates designed to share,” Burke said. “We decided to keep it to the food and drink. There’s no TV. There’s no noise pollution. You’re going to enjoy the company you’re with and hopefully make some new friends.”
The location has been transformed and includes artwork from local artists.
“We did a really extensive renovation,” Burke said. “It really feels like our own now. It’s a wonderful space. I like the idea of supporting the art community by showcasing their stuff. We want to fill the walls naturally by making connections with the community. I love the idea of rotating art. We will see who wants to put their stuff on the wall. It would be great if the artists can make some money.”
Block took possession of the space in September.
“The whole process felt like it was meant to be,” Burke said. “We’re really feeling welcome. We’ve had a lot of wonderful compliments from the guests that we’ve served. We’re super excited to join the community.”
This is the second Block restaurant opened by Burke, Stéphane Prévost and Jay Ahn.
The first location opened in Banff in 2014.
“The Banff location is beloved and quirky,” Burke said. “It’s always been fun. We tried to bring that culture to the Victoria space.”
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