Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Things at Bandidas

This is Jackie, and oddly my first post.

So what new things you ask?

1. Well, five of us painted the restaurant in the middle of the night. Midnight until 8am! Let me tell you that despite being so productive, I still felt like a dirtbag when the birds start singing at dawn. I did learn that a lot people jog at 6am in my neighbourhood. I also learned that I am old, and it takes me a long time to recover from an all-nighter. Thank you Penny, Kevin, Evan & Aiyana for being so tough and efficient.

The colours we choose with help from our colour-consultant-tattooing-neighbour, Jessica Pare ( at Eastside Tattoos Parlour, are turquoise, brown & cream with black trim. We were trying to make the restaurant look more cosy. Please do not look too closely as we were tired, and on a time constraint. In fact, we had minimal lighting to see our mistakes. Which brings us to the second change at Bandidas.

2. The light fixtures. Another lesson I learned from this fateful night was that you should not paint and change the light fixtures at the same time. And, that when changing the light fixtures in the middle of the night, you should bring a headlamp and be prepared with alternative lighting. Luckily we had bike lights to see the wiring. The lights are up and look beautiful. They are old antique, diamond-shaped beauties. Pictures will follow. Thank you to Mark Ogilive for the late night electrical assistance. Mark came to install the lights after a play and was dressed in stunning attire while the rest of us were in sweat pants.

3. New hours. You can now enjoy these cosy renovations for longer periods of time. We are open until:
  • 1am on Friday and Saturday
  • Midnight - Sunday to Thursday
  • Opening at 9am everyday
4. A few new drinks will be available starting soon, including a ginger margarita, and a dark & stormy. I know...dangerous and delicious with the new hours.

Pictures to Follow.

Thanks for reading,
Co-owner of Bandidas

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Intriguing Tale of Our Fabulous Bar

Once upon a time (I believe it was 1999), there was a man named Tim. Tim was perusing a lumber yard.

He came across the precise piece of wood that he needed for the project he was working on. It happened to be sitting on top of an enormous piece of Douglas Fir. Tim expressed interest in it, and the Lumber Man related a sad tale in which a restaurant had ordered the piece for their bar, but had decided against it. There were too many knots in the wood, the Restaurant Owner had said. The incredible piece of wood had been abandoned and left for scrap.

The Lumber Man saw the gleam in Tim's eye and offered him the piece of wood for a ridiculously low price. Tim sighed and turned the offer down, as he had no real need for a 13 foot slab of Douglas Fir, beautiful though it was.

Alas, our story does not end here.

Driving home, Tim could not stop thinking about it. He did not need the wood now, he told himself, but surely someday a use would present itself? Before he could make it home, he turned around and went back to the Lumber Man to buy a beautiful piece of wood that he knew he didn't need.

Tim stored the thing-of-beauty in his friend's barn for 8 whole years until he heard that his beloved daughter, Aiyana, was planning to open a restaurant.
"Why, I've got the perfect thing for you," he said.
Tim Hicks personally delivered the wood, having sanded it by hand for hours until the wood shone. Upon delivery, he stayed to build the bar himself. In fact, he stayed on to contribute weeks of help throughout the whole building process of Bandidas.

And the gorgeous piece of wood, finally coming to rest amongst people who adored it, existed happily ever after.

The End.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Fresh Start

It was a beautiful, snowy afternoon, and one of the Bandidas decided it was finally time to make a fresh blog entry...

I'm Renee. I've been serving at Bandidas for over a year now, and I'm really happy here. I was living in Victoria and coming over to Van every other weekend to hang out. Bandidas quickly became an integral part of every visit, because I loved the food and the atmosphere was so relaxed and friendly. It wasn't very long before I threw my hands up in the air and said, "That's it! I'm moving to Vancouver and I'm going to get a job at Bandidas!" It turned out that my timing was spot on, and now I spend nearly all my time here. Its funny how things just work out sometimes.

I came to Vancouver knowing only a handful of people, but after a year of working at Bandidas, I've really begun to feel like a part of the community--of the restaurant and of the neighborhood. After years of traveling and drifting around, it feels so good to feel like I actually belong somewhere. I learn new things from our lovely customers every day, and I run into them all over town. I've never worked anywhere that catered to such kind, genuine and interesting people, which, as a server, makes the workplace infinitely more enjoyable. That may sound cheesy, but I mean every carefully chosen word of it.

I'm a Sagittarius. I'm terribly accident prone. I love to write and sing and make people laugh. I really do like long walks on the beach, and as far as snow is concerned, I hope we get more because there is something so romantic about it.

The Taqueria is particularly cozy these days, certainly warmer than my ridiculous little apartment, and I find I've been hanging out here in my free time even more since the first big chill of the season. I know the food will be healthy, hot and delicious. I know I'll run into people and have a laugh. I know I'll be able to get cozy and get some writing done, its a little hobby of mine.

In fact, our two marvelous ringleaders, Jackie and Aiyana, have asked me to start keeping this ol'blog updated, so you can expect to hear more from us, more frequently. If you have any suggestions for blog posts, or if there is anything you'd love to know about us, let us know!
Muchas Gracias!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Check out this charity we are supporting. It's a bike event!! We love to support many such things.

Calling all cyclists - Family fun CAP AIDS Bike-a-thon on Saturday, June 19, Trout Lake

CAP AIDS, a registered Canadian charity, is organizing a 20km bike a thon along BC Parkway on Saturday, June 19 (registration at 9:15 am) at the south end of Trout Lake. Please register your Team or individually online at:

We are fundraising specifically for vocational training opportunities for AIDS youth orphans in Uganda and Ethiopia. Every dollar raised will be matched 3-1 by the Canadian government (CIDA). After-ride Refreshments and Entertainment by Tambai Marimba and African Stages youth dancers. Win a custom-made bicycle from Our Community Bikes and other great prizes from our sponsors!

For more information contact Lindsay Marsh, Bike-a-Thon Coordinator, at

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Brunch every day!

Sorry for the lack of posts. Things are more than overwhelming. But, because us Bandidas don't feel like we have been working enough hours, we decided to open for brunch every day now. We both take a day off each week, and both notice that there are not tons of fantastic places open for breakfast during the week. So looks like we better be the ones. We have changed our whole kitchen around (closed for a day in order to get it all set up for ease of use). We are ready to rock. Starting Monday, we will serve Breakfast/Brunch every day from 10 to 3.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chalk Board Ideas

OK, so we asked our very good friend Mark, designer of one of our most beautiful bathrooms, for his ideas on the chalk board wall. His idea: put up a book in "chapters". Put up a section of the story every month or so. The giving tree? The Lorax (a good environmentalist's story)? How cool would that be? Would people read it? Maybe something less known, so that people would look forward to the next section.

In other news, we had our best day ever today. The restaurant was full for most of the day, and really busy for long stretches. The coolest part is watching how much more smoothly busy nights are going. We are getting better at what we do. Our employees know their positions, and are getting quicker. We communicated better as a team. Our systems are solidifying.

Still, it blows me away to look out at the restaurant in the middle of a busy dinner rush, and realize that we are running a restaurant, a real restaurant. . . not sure what else to say about that.

Photography Exibition Opening

This will be a brief post to announce the photo opening we will be holding at the restaurant February 4th at 7 pm. There will be a special on wine. The photos on the wall are amazing, and worth giving some time to.
The exhibit is by rev b pandemonium. The photos are of the Vancouver downtown eastside.
Hope to see many of you there.