Graze vegetarian restaurant closes (so they can make more cheese)

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Jess Fleming/Vancity Buzz

A door has closed on Vancouver’s vibrant vegetarian dining scene with the unexpected shutter of Graze restaurant, but a proverbial window is opening up as the owner prepares to expand Graze’s dairy-free cheese-making business.

Graze posted a farewell message on their website about the late November shut down, remarking:

A great many factors have gone into making this difficult decision. Not only have we been planning our retail products division, focused on our non-dairy nut-based cheeses, but also about the long-term viability of our current location.

To that end, Graze’s Michael Lyons says he is looking to move the business into a bigger commercial kitchen space that offers improved cheese storage, among other considerations.

But what really sealed the deal was that he had an offer on the space he couldn’t refuse. Not surprising, as the particular stretch of Fraser Street on which Graze is located is rapidly becoming Vancouver’s most exciting corridor for dining and drinking. There’s the French bakery/café Batard, Earnest Ice Cream, a brand new Prado Café, Commodity Juicery, and Italian neighbourhood joint Osteria Savio Volpe (on Kingsway at Fraser) all within blocks of Graze’s spot. Victoria’s Bows & Arrows chose Fraser Street (across from Prado) for their forthcoming café-bar project, too.

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SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Vancouver Brunch Guide: Graze Restaurant

In its two-and-a-half year run, Graze was beloved for their veggie and vegan fare, particularly their brunch, including sweet treats like Carrot Cake French Toast or meat-free riffs on classics, like a Smoked Tofu Benny.

It will be exciting to see not only what moves into Graze’s spot, but also how Graze grows their cheese and food products business, too.

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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