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Relaunch date set for legendary Vancouver French restaurant under new ownership

Chef Rob Feenie's revamped Le Crocodile is opening soon
Le Crocodile by Rob Feenie will make its debut on June 25, 2024 with an interior and menu refresh

After weeks of anticipation, the next chapter of Vancouver's acclaimed French restaurant Le Crocodile is about to begin.

Under the ownership of Chef Rob Feenie, the fine dining destination launched 40 years ago by Chef Michel Jacob will open its doors on Tuesday, June 25.

Jacob announced earlier this year he had sold the business to Feenie and was retiring. The restaurant closed in April.

Guests of the new Le Crocodile will likely find several familiar faces on the team amidst a renovated interior and a new menu showcasing Feenie's West Coast-fuelled French fare.

Among the returning staff members are Pastry Chef Mark Pugsley and Wine Director Jill Spoor.

"We’re thrilled to be able to retain and maintain the level of service people have come to know and love, starting day one at Le Crocodile by Rob Feenie," said new GM Steve Edwards (Homer Street Cafe, Ancora, Boulevard) in a media release announcing the reopening. Edwards will be assisted by AGM William Mulholland (previously of Acquafarina, Blue Water Cafe) to lead the front-of-house team. 

The redesign for the 80-seat Le Crocodile was led by award-winning David Hepworth of SITU Design, with whom Feenie worked on previous ventures Lumiere and Feenie's. Design highlights include hints of yellow (as a nod to the former Le Crocodile), faux-crocodile seat embossing, geometric floor, and a balance of art deco and Provencal style. There is new millwork, velvet banquette seating, and a semi-private alcove as part of the revived space. Le Crocodile also has a 24-seat patio. 

What's on the menu at Le Crocodile by Rob Feenie

Feenie and the team have curated a menu that bridges Le Crocodile's legacy with a refreshed modernity. 

“My goal has been to create a menu that blends classic French dishes with new, contemporary options that reflect our beautiful West Coast – from fresh ingredients to unique flavours that I love," noted Feenie.

Dishes guests can expect to find include Steak Tartare; Escargot de Bourgogne; Grilled Veal Tenderloin Medallions (with Le Crocodile's beloved morel sauce); Dover Sole (deboned tableside); and several seasonal offerings. This summer, diners could see dishes like a Seafood Medley with lobster, Hokkaido scallops, and prawns in a tomato saffron broth or Halibut with artichoke a la Barigoule, and Pomme Parisienne on the menu.

In addition to Pugsley returning as Le Crocodile's pastry chef, the kitchen team boasts Marc Marayag (previously Bar Susu, Umu) as chef de cuisine and award-winning Wendy Boys as consulting executive pastry chef.

"Everything has come full circle," said Feenie of his journey to becoming proprietor of the iconic Vancouver restaurant. At 23, Feenie walked into Le Crocodile as a young chef in training and worked there from 1992 to 1995.

The Le Crocodile by Rob Feenie website and reservations (via OpenTable) will launch on June 25. The restaurant, located at 909 Burrard St, will reopen with dinner service from 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with lunch service to come. Follow @lecrocodilerestaurant on Instagram.

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