Even before it opened, Mount Pleasant Vintage & Provisions was clearly one of the city’s quirkiest restaurants.
Situated in a restored and tricked-out heritage home that was worked into the very modern new West 6th mixed-use development it anchors, the restaurant’s origin story is also atypical: Its operator and concept were chosen as part of a competition held by the developer.
Since its late summer debut, Mount Pleasant Vintage & Provisions has been picture-perfect social media content fodder, thanks to elements like old school tin lunchboxes used for serving, 70s rec-room vibes, and all sorts of eye-catching colourful and over-the-top decor.
But it’s one item that the bar-restaurant guests encounter at the door that seems to be tripping folks up the most.
“NOTICE: THIS IS NOT A CULT” reads a sign positioned on the bright white siding of the home next to its bright tomato-red front door.
The sign even has the City of Vancouver crest and what looks like some official designation with “Province of BC | Section ABT 350.”
Of course, there’s no such thing as “Section ABT 350” (the closest appears to be records pertaining to legal matters, per the province’s website).
The sign is actually a cheeky way for restaurateur Cameron Bogue to offer an explainer and a link between the building’s history and present in one fell swoop.
In smaller print, the sign offers a bit of a building backstory.
The heritage home is the 1901-built Coulter House, which has had many occupants over the decades, chiefly operating as the “6th Avenue Grocery” into the late 1970s. As the Mount Pleasant Vintage sign puts it, the property was “cursed” in 1978 “when the last continually-run business shuttered” there, noting that the house-turned-grocer earned the devilish nickname “666” being as the building (then located at 66 W 6th, now moved to 67 W 6th) closed at “age 66.”
And the link to the present, and debunking any lingering misfortune: “Set to break the curse, Mount Pleasant Vintage & Provisions returns fiercely independent summer 2022.”
Indeed, it has. So far, the irreverent bar and grill has been a hit with diners. Its sign, too, draws plenty of attention at all hours, with people stopping to step a little closer to figure out why there’s some kind of “official” declaration that a cult does not operate there.
Watch: The story of the Coulter House