Archive for April, 2015

Hungry Dog Cafe

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

A Doggone Good Restaurant:

Hungry Dog Cafe Sandie Noble Dunbar LifeWalking up the path to Hungry Dog Cafe is like arriving at a friend’s house for a meal. The little restaurant is located in a tiny house, located slightly west of Dunbar Street on West 29th Avenue.

Once inside Hungry Dog Cafe you will be greeted with a warm hello from proprietor Sandie Noble. No matter how busy she is, she seems capable of stopping to take the time to welcome guests to her “bucket list” cafe.

This diner is her dream come true. For a number of years she and her children’s father, Robert Noble, owned two Moonpennies Coffee and Fine Foods restaurants in down-town Vancouver. Looking for a change, but wanting to stay in the restaurant business, she decided to open a restaurant in Dunbar Village, which she has proudly called home since 1971.

In 2012, when she was on the verge of starting her new journey, Sandie Noble was diagnosed with breast cancer. Based on her strength and character she says, “I knew I’d get through it” and indeed she did. She says, “I hope to inspire other women to get through breast cancer by keeping their eye on the prize.” Sandie Noble got her prize. In September 2014 she completed her final treatment and returned to planning Hungry Dog Cafe’s opening.

The business officially opened in late November 2014. Sandie Noble is extremely grateful to her landlady, who she calls “an earth angel,” for patiently waiting for her to occupy the space.

The business name came to Sandie Noble because it was catchy. She laughs when she reports some people have mistaken the restaurant for a dog bakery, although she points out they do have doggie treats for dogs who patiently wait outside while their owners eat.

Hungry Dog Cafe interior Dunbar LifeHungry Dog Cafe is an inviting space with its cheerful yellow walls, dark brown ceiling, vibrant wall art, and pale wood floors. A glass display case separates the five-table dining room from the open kitchen where Sandie Noble and her son Robbie Noble can be seen effortlessly preparing meals. It always makes them smile to hear people exclaim “Wow!” when they walk through the door.

Sandie Noble is committed to serving fresh and wholesome food. She remarks, “This is food that I would serve my family and friends at home.” She uses her own recipes and believes in purchasing the food locally.

The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch daily with a popular brunch menu on weekends. Hungry Dog Cafe serves breakfast all day for those who are seeking a tasty frittata including ham and cheese, three cheese, vegetarian or the Sunrise with eggs, peas, shredded carrots, honey ham, onions and Brie. The Road Trip breakfast features an English muffin with ham or bacon, cheddar cheese and egg.

The lunch menu includes sandwiches with fresh warm personal size baguettes as the foundation. These tasty baguettes from Vancouver’s Boulangerie La Parisienne bakery are purchased three-quarters cooked, with baking completed at Hungry Dog. Sandie Nobles says, “That way the bread is soft and warm inside and the crust is just right.”

There are a variety of sandwiches to satisfy any hungry dog.

Hungry Dog salads include a salad bursting with flavour featuring kale, chickpeas, feta, and lemon vinaigrette. The cheese tortellini salad with sun-dried tomatoes is another popular choice.

Housemade baked goods feature muffins, pies, cookies and loafs. Notable is the $1.50 a cup coffee and tea. It feels like stepping back in time to see such an affordable hot beverage.

In addition to serving meals in house Sandie and Robbie Noble (who was previously a sous chef at Earls) also run a busy catering service. She credits her son as “A hard worker and meticulous at his craft of cooking.” They are constantly inventing and trying new things. Sandie Noble confesses that inspiration can hit at anytime, including when they watch the Food Network. The pair will exclaim, “We can do that!”

This business owner is 100 per cent grateful to be living her dream and sharing her passion with her neighbourhood.

“It’s all about passion,” Sandie Noble says, and this is undoubtedly a large part of Hungry Dog Cafe’s success. Her love of food and people comes shining through. She is humble and is deeply appreciative for the support of Robert Noble (who co-owns the business) and their two other adult children, Annie and Connor, who are always willing to lend a hand.

Hungry Dog Cafe exterior Dunbar LifeWith warmer weather arriving there are plans to open an outdoor patio. The demand for more tables certainly exists as an increasing number of people flock to the restaurant. Sandie Noble reports, “The reception from the community has been outstanding” and one of the most satisfying comments this devoted restaurant owner hears from content diners is, “We’ll be back.”



Hungry Dog Cafe
3625 W 29th Ave
Vancouver BC V6S 2G4
Telephone 604-657-5481

Visual Space Gallery

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

A New Arrival on Dunbar Street:

It is always exciting to see new businesses open in Dunbar Village. It indicates business owners, like residents, appreciate the area and want to be a part of, and invest in, this vibrant community. The north end of Dunbar is experiencing changes, and the arrival of Visual Space Gallery in December 2014 is part of this evolution.

Visual Space owners Dunbar LifeProfessional photographers Peter Eastwood, Noriko Nasu-Tidball and Yukiko Onley are the joint owners of Visual Space Gallery. Their goal was to open a gallery to exhibit photography, painting and sculpture, which are available to purchase.

Previously Eastwood and Onley had teamed up and run a gallery in the Olympic Village neighbourhood; however, they had to seek a new space when their lease expired. One day last fall Eastwood happened to be driving along Dunbar Street and spotted a for lease sign, situated beside their new neighbours, 4Cats. He thought it was the perfect location for art installations with its high ceiling, deep floor plan and west-facing storefront. He alerted Onley and their new business partner, Nasu-Tidall, about his find.

The partners have found neighbouring merchants and residents to be extremely receptive and welcoming. This owner-operated gallery gives clients an opportunity to talk directly to Eastwood, Nasu-Tidball and Onley.

Their intention is to break down the stereotype of intimidating and stuffy galleries and make this a very approachable and welcoming place for people to visit.

In addition to the main gallery, Eastwood has cleverly taken a page from some independent London galleries, which use every inch of square footage. With this in mind, he has created a lower level gallery at the back entry of the business to maximize the display area.

Visual Space Interior Dunbar LifeWhile art installations are the primary focus, Visual Space Gallery will also host small concerts and receptions. As well, the gallery is available for artists to rent to show their work. In fact, the trio have already discovered there is a flourishing artists’ community in the Dunbar area as a number of them have dropped in to say hello.

The owners have also discovered there is an interest in gallery rentals for small weddings. The long room is ideal to set up chairs and create an aisle, and after the ceremony it works nicely as a reception area.

All three photographers are very active. Eastwood specializes in travel photography. Nasu-Tidall and Onley’s work includes portraits, live dance and theatre photography and wedding photography.

Eastwood was born in England. Encouraged by his mother who worked for Sunbeam Photos, he became an avid photographer at an early age. In his teens he started with a Kodak Brownie and quickly discovered an interest in portrait photography. His varied career included spending 17 years in Hong Kong where he opened a successful hairdressing company called HQ. It was during this time that Eastwood’s photography career took off as he created advertising campaigns for his business. After selling HQ he began freelance photography for some of Asia’s top photographers and advertising agencies.

Onley was born and grew up in Osaka, Japan. She relocated to Vancouver in 1976. She has been surrounded by art for much of her life. Her grandmother was a master of the tea ceremony and of flower arrangements, and one of her aunts was an accomplished painter in Japan. Onley’s early training was as a painter. Her long association with Canadian artist, Toni Onley, both during and after their marriage, has been a significant influence on her work. In 1989, painting led to photography. She is known as one of the finest portrait photographers on the West Coast.

Nasu-Tidball was born in Susami, a small town in Japan where her parents worked as a banker and a kimono storeowner. Her uncle was an executive at Mainichi Graph magazine, a photojournalism periodical. Nasu-Tidball grew up surrounded by this documentary style of photography that was partially responsible for inspiring her future career. She moved to Canada in 1990 and took up photography in 2009, beginning with a SLR camera. She studied and worked with different photographers, which led to meeting Onley and Eastwood.

Visual Space exterior Dunbar LifeFrom April 10 to 21 Visual Space Gallery will be mounting an exhibit by Peter Eastwood entitled Sri Lanka After The Tsunami: Stories of the Survivors. The mediums of photography and film capture Eastwood’s time spent in this region that is very close to his heart. The stories behind the faces are at times heartbreaking, but also often filled with hope, deep spirituality and a renewed respect for the power of the seas. At the same time he will launch his book, which shares the same title.

Upcoming exhibits include Art by David Lemon (April 24 to 26), brand new works by Lil Chrzan (May 7 to 11), and Art Sale by Pnina Granier (May 15 to 21).

Visual Space Gallery’s website is constantly updated as new exhibitions take place. Pop by, meet Eastwood, Nasu-Tidball and Onley and enjoy Visual Space Gallery that has become a welcome addition to Dunbar Street.

Visual Space Gallery
3352 Dunbar St
Vancouver BC V6S 2C1
Telephone 604-559-0576