New seafood restaurant Papi’s moves into prime West End spot

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A “chef-testant” who was among the Vancouverites vying for the title of Top Chef Canada in the series’ recent seventh season is joining the Viaggio Hospitality Group and will head the kitchen at Papi’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, the new concept that’s forthcoming in the former Beach Bay Café space in the West End.

The exterior of Papi’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. Photo courtesy Viaggo Hospitality Group.

Max Straczek comes to Papi’s Seafood and Oyster Bar from Fable Kitchen and Fable Diner, two restaurants by another Top Chef Canada alum, Trevor Bird. He also has worked in several prominent European kitchens.

Located at 1193 Denman St., The Beach Bay Café & Patio was a modern, semi-upscale Pacific Northwest-style concept that slid into the space that had been home to the much-loved Raincity Grill for years. Viaggio renovated the space extensively prior to the 2015 launch of the Beach Bay Café; among the chefs who worked the kitchen there was Top Chef Canada season six contender Felix Zhou.

The Beach Bay Café closed earlier this year, and has been remodelled for Papi’s, aiming to bring a jolt of bright, casual sea-side fun into the space that’s steps from English Bay. In addition to the dining room, Papi’s will feature an oyster bar and patio. Passers-by may have already noticed the demure Beach Bay exterior morphing into the bold, bright, and geometric Papi’s paint job.

On the menu at Papi’s, expect, as the name indicates, a strong seafood focus, with fresh-shucked oysters and seafood platters, crudo, ceviche, and plenty of apps and main sourced from the ocean.

In addition to Straczek as Head Chef, Papi’s will be led by General Manager and Sommelier Alessandro De Pieri, the latter who is behind the restaurant’s menu of sparkling wines and champagne, craft beer on tap, and craft cocktails.

“At Papi’s, we have an opportunity to give visitors and locals alike a taste of what makes the Pacific Northwest such a destination,” says De Pieri. “It’s a bright and welcoming space that offers a truly unique spot to enjoy one of the most popular and picturesque areas of the city.”

Further details and the full menu for Papi’s Seafood and Oyster Bar will be revealed on opening day, June 6. Papi’s is located at 1193 Denman Street in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood.