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Update: Hidden gem Vancouver restaurant closed permanently

What began as a temporary pause for renovations has become a full-on closure.
Dock Lunch, the intimate restaurant inside a converted apartment home, closed for good at the end of 2022.

If you've ever slipped into Dock Lunch, the tiny restaurant tucked inside an apartment house off Main Street in Mount Pleasant, and thought "this place feels like home," there's good reason. For a long time - before it became a restaurant - the space was the home of Elizabeth Bryan, the chef-owner of the concept that's remained an enduring favourite for brunch, lunch, and special suppers for the past several years.

Dock Lunch was best known for its globally-influenced dishes on ever-changing menus, with just a few offerings for each meal, ranging from more ambitious offerings to comforting home-style eats. The 16-seat restaurant was intimate and homey - unsurprisingly - and was a go-to for many locals. The restaurant also was home to special pop-up events and offered a great little side-street patio in the warm months. 

The start of 2023 came with word Dock Lunch had gone on an extended hiatus, and the restaurant's website read that the venue was "closed for renovations for a good part of the year."

However, over the weekend, Bryan confirmed with V.I.A. that Dock Lunch has, in fact, closed permanently. Bryan only learned as January got underway that she would not be able to re-open the Mount Pleasant restaurant in the wake of the renovations planned by the property owners. 

In December, expecting a lengthy pause ahead, Bryan had been saying a slow so long with last suppers. In early January, fans of the restaurant wondered in comments on the restaurant's social media postings if the goodbye was more than temporary.

This past weekend, as Bryan revealed the restaurant was, indeed, bidding a permanent farewell, Dock Lunch held a "garage sale" to sell off "lots of vintage housewares, books, cookbooks, furniture."

"Dock drew its final curtains for service NYE. It was an abrupt decision in the face of certain odds. It's not the exit I had planned but I love disruption and am excited for what's next," describes Bryan on Dock Lunch's Instagram feed.

Bryan tells V.I.A. in an email her immediate plan is to pack up what remains of Dock Lunch, and her own life here in the city, and to move to Victoria, where her family is (including her parents and siblings, among them sister Susannah, co-owner of popular local bakery cafe Ruth & Dean).

The restaurateur is hopeful her journey will next lead her to India. Bryan explains: "My first employee Gaya was a chef’s student in Vancouver, worked at Dock for three years, went home to South India and opened her own Dock-like resto which she partly credits my influence for. Says she had no idea you could fund a place on charm and energy alone until she discovered Dock Lunch. Now she’s doing it too and would like to return the favour by having me work and learn from her."

As her time in Vancouver draws to a close, Bryan is sharing memories of her decade running Dock Lunch on the restaurant's Instagram page, and is welcoming guests to share their memories there, too.