Old-school charm is paired with fresh flavors of the West Coast at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House. It's been a favorite of locals for decades.
This Vancouver institution is getting ready to celebrate 30 years of business, and what better way to do so than to throw a party and roll back to 1985 prices?
The miso marinated sablefish at Joe Fortes is delicious — Photo courtesy of Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
The restaurant was inspired by San Francisco’s seafood grills and a legendary soul, Joe Fortes. From a bartender to the city’s first official lifeguard, Joe Fortes was a warm and welcoming man – qualities the restaurant strives to embody through its ambiance and hospitality.
When you walk into Fortes (as locals call it), the buzz is palpable.
Live music sets the stage as people mingle over a glass of crisp white and freshly shucked oysters at the bar, while the staff dance a well-orchestrated choreography that keep diners full and happy.
The rich mahogany, brass touches and crisp white linens are spread throughout the two levels. And in the warmer months, the rooftop patio is one of the best in the city.
Over the last 30 years, there are many people that have come and gone, but there are a number that have been there for 10, 15 and 20 years. Some have even been there from the beginning!
One of the most familiar faces at Fortes has to be Robert "Frenchy" Gagne, the restaurant's maitre d'. Having been with the company for 25 years, Frenchy has a passion and knowledge that are contagious. Even if it's your first time meeting him, you'll feel like you're being welcomed by an old friend who wants to take care of you.
"It's like a movie. For two hours of your day, we want to make sure you escape your daily mundane and really live an experience," he says.
When asked what the secret is to thriving for 30 years, Frenchy's quick to share the secret.
"First of all, the restaurant itself and the design are spectacular, but the culture for sure. The investment in the people is key; we invest in our people. We want to make sure that we provide all of the tools for people to grow. Not just in the business, but personally, as well," he says.
It's not just the hospitality that keeps people coming back to Fortes; it's also the food.
Like any good seafood and chop house, they serve everything from lobster and sablefish to steak and oysters, and they also boast an award-winning wine list to wash it all down with.
Open for lunch, dinner, happy hour and weekend brunch, Joe Fortes caters to all price points. If you can't stay for the full steak and lobster dinner, then hit up their happy hour for affordable bites and sippers.
To mark their 30th anniversary, Joe Fortes will be featuring an anniversary lunch menu that features six items at 1985 prices from Nov. 16 to Nov. 20, 2015.
They will also be hosting a party on Nov. 10, 2015, at 6:30 p.m., where you'll enjoy live music, fresh oysters, gourmet canapés and local wine and beer. Tickets are $175, and proceeds go to Vancouver Firefighters' Charitable Society. Contact Norma Cisneros at firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.