October is Small Business Month, and in light of the pandemic, we thought there was no better time than right now to highlight some of downtown Vancouver’s local businesses.
Originally a photographer and location manager/producer in the film industry in Toronto, Robbie moved to Vancouver in 2003 and joined the front-of-house team at Chambar, a fellow brunch restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown. It was there that Robbie developed the single-minded commitment to being a consummate host. With his experience at Chambar and love for the hospitality industry, Robbie opened Café Medina. The eclectic, Mediterranean-inspired, and bistro-style brunch spot has quickly become one of Vancouver’s most beloved restaurants for locals and visitors alike.
Robbie has worked in downtown Vancouver for 16 years, beginning at Chambar in 2004 and then now Medina, since 2008. Café Medina originally opened its doors on Beatty Street but has since moved to the library district at 780 Richards Street in the downtown Vancouver catchment. “The choice to be downtown was an organic progression for us once a larger, brighter space in the heart of the city became available,” he says.
Since opening, Café Medina has been able to carve out a niche as a truly exceptional breakfast, lunch, weekend-brunch – and now, with the addition of ‘Medina After Dark’ services Thursdays through Saturdays – dinner destination that effortlessly blends eclectic bistro fare, connoisseur-savvy coffee, and sweet nourishments via some of the city’s best Belgian waffles.
While the name Medina has many interpretations, it was selected for its connotation to “radiant or enlightened city.” Robbie prides himself on maintaining a pioneering attitude towards café culture and employing a distinctive brand of ‘enlightened hospitality’ that serves as an ideal complement for their instantly memorable, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. “In a serendipitous, full-circle twist of fate, it was here where I met my future wife, Medina, who was drawn to the eponymous café when she saw it shared her name,” says Robbie. Café Medina was simply meant to be.
As mentioned above, Café Medina has just launched its ‘Medina After Dark’ dinner services Thursdays through Saturdays with a wine-and-small-plates menu provided by Chef Chris West and GM/Sommelier Jenna Briscoe. Medina looks forward to people coming to enjoy some unique Mediterranean wine and cuisine while helping to light up the night in the downtown core.
“The best part of my job is being able to provide exceptional hospitality experiences for people. I am fortunate enough to be able to make it my vocation.”Robbie Kane
Café Medina is open weekdays from 8 AM to 3 PM and weekends 9 AM to 3 PM for brunch and Thursdays through Saturdays from 5 PM until 10 PM for dinner service. To view their full menus and to make a reservation, click here.