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After a six-year run characterized by alternating high praise and raspberries (the bad kind), French brasserie bistro Saint Germain in the Hotel Arts building on 12th Avenue S.W. has closed.

Grayson Sherman really served some excellent food during his stint as executive chef, which ended this past spring. Now there's a man who makes one mean bowl of soup. I'm a big fan.

Now vacant, the space will be used as a banquet hall during December says Fraser Abbott, Hotel Arts director of business development. Renovations will then begin for a new 80-seat restaurant owned and operated by the Hotel Arts Group, which also owns Chef’s Table in Kensington Riverside Inn.

The new restaurant is tentatively scheduled to open in April, 2012. The casual upscale space will be redesigned, but Saint Germain’s striking wine wall will likely stay put says Abbott.

“It’s still evolving,” he says of the new establishment’s projected cuisine. However, it may involve “a grill concept” with wines by the glass. “It’s got to be the kind of cuisine Duncan Ly cooks without it being a mirror image of the Raw Bar,” he says, referring to the hotel’s executive chef. “It’s somewhere in the midst of what we’re doing with Raw Bar and Chef’s Table.”

Ian Doig

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