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New Mexican restaurant opening in long-vacant Vancouver space

We finally know what's moving into a long-empty restaurant space in Gastown, and it's pretty exciting!

A Gastown restaurant space that's been vacant for over two years finally has a new tenant, and that means more Mexican cuisine is coming to Vancouver.

Called Monarca, the venture will be a sister restaurant to Ophelia, the Olympic Village Mexican spot that came to us courtesy of the same folks behind the popular Flying Pig restaurants. 

Monarca is setting up at 181 Carrall Street, which previously was home to Coquille, a seafood restaurant that shuttered at the very end of 2019, leaving the corner space empty for all this time. Coquille had moved in after the high-concept Secret Location restaurant folded, and pivoted its front door from 1 Water Street to around the corner on Carrall. 

We don't have any other details available about Monarca to share, but if you were following former Flying Pig and Ophelia sibling WildTale (another seafood spot that shut down) you may already be following @monarcavancouver on Instagram, as it seems they've shifted the account over for the new project. 

Ophelia Mexican Kitchen launched in 2020 in the former WildTale Olympic Village space. The concept is headed up by Executive Chef Francisco Higareda, and showcases food inspired by his roots in Veracruz, Mexico. We can likely expect Monarca to be an extension of this kind of exciting modern Mexican cuisine in Vancouver, which has grown in popularity in the last couple of years. 

A rep for Ophelia confirmed the new restaurant and says the opening date could be as soon as late March. Stay tuned!