There’s a new restaurant coming to The Waterfront Vancouver, and the name is likely familiar to downtown Vancouver residents. Jorge’s Latin American Cuisine will open in the spring on the second floor of the Jean Building at 777 Waterfront Way, above WildFin American Grill.
Jorge Castro, owner of Jorge’s Tequila Factory, confirmed that he intends to move his downtown restaurant from 1004 Washington St. to The Waterfront. But it won’t just be a change of name and location: Castro says his goal is to reimagine the restaurant as a higher-end concept.
“We’re doing an elevated version of Latin American cuisine,” he told The Columbian on Tuesday.
Jorge’s Latin American Cuisine will feature a slightly smaller menu than Castro’s six existing restaurants, but it will have a greater focus on flavors and presentation. The restaurant will also be designed to have a more upscale atmosphere, Castro said, with much of the furniture imported.
“I want to have it feel like you’re on vacation,” he said, “like you’re in Cancun, or Beverly Hills or Miami.”
The restaurant will occupy the entire 7,200-square-foot second floor of the Jean Building, giving patrons panoramic views of the Columbia River. The space also includes a 1,300-square-foot patio overlooking the Grant Street Pier, and Castro said he plans to include a bar that will serve both the indoor and outdoor portions of the restaurant.
The downtown Tequila Factory restaurant will remain open during the build-out of the Waterfront location, Castro said, serving as a staging ground and training location while the staff and new Executive Chef Ray Delgado prepare the menu for Jorge’s Latin American Cuisine.
Castro’s other five restaurants — Guadalajara Grill & Cantina in Longview, Jorge’s Margarita Factory on Mill Plain Boulevard, Margarita Factory Hazel Dell, Cerveza Factory in Battle Ground and Margarita Factory Beaverton in Beaverton, Ore. — will all remain open with their existing menus.
The six existing locations offer similar dining experiences, but Castro said that for the new Waterfront location he wanted to challenge himself and develop a new concept that would represent a step upward in his career as a restaurateur.
He said he decided to move the downtown restaurant because The Waterfront Vancouver has become the premier dining destination downtown, and the city’s food scene is undergoing a huge shift toward the waterfront.
More information about the new location’s design and menu is expected to be available on the restaurant’s website in the coming weeks, Castro said.
The addition of Jorge’s Latin American Cuisine means that all but one of the available spaces in the Don and Jean buildings have been leased, according to Gramor Development spokeswoman Molly Ishkanian. The only remaining open space is next door to Barlow’s Public House on the second story of the Don building, above the Maryhill Winery tasting room. Barlow’s is set to open on Labor Day weekend.