From day one, the “River District Experience Center” was to be a community hub that would welcome locals as a “town square”. The right destination restaurant was a central part of that concept and Romers, designed by BBA, was the natural candidate. Romers is a popular up and coming Vancouver restaurant chain where the burgers are upscale, but the prices are not.
3DS made the project a showcase of sustainable building practices. Prior to its residential rezoning, the riverside was home to a number early twentieth century lumber mills. We used reclaimed wood and repurposed materials from the dismantled mill buildings wherever possible. Every major component in this restaurant interior, such as the massive golden-glowing bar and the expansive feature wall, was made from reclaimed old-growth timber. The ceiling comes from the beetle-ravaged pine forests of British Columbia, using wood once thought lost to an epidemic forest infestation. The result of this approach is elegant, yet industrial, a brand-new restaurant with the warm, welcoming feel of an old familiar hangout.
In the summer, the restaurant becomes even more accessible, opening out onto a waterfront deck that naturally invites locals in, as they stroll the riverfront path. Like its downtown sibling, this Romers has drawn raves from critics and lineups from patrons. Afterward, visitors to Romers become visitors to the River District Experience Center. It’s a perfect fit.