Fans of the classic French bistro experience will have a new reason to raise a glass and say ‘À votre santé’ as the West-Coast-by-way-of-Lyon brunch restaurant Mèreon opens its doors in West Vancouver’s Ambleside neighbourhood at 1479 Clyde Avenue.
The 52-seat space will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and feature a full complement of timeless French fare, artisanal espresso-based beverages, classic, contemporary, and zero-proof cocktails and a thoughtfully curated list of Old and New World wines, and the signature sense of hospitality for which French bistros are famously known.
Mèreon represents the culmination of a long-simmering passion project of Owner Ophelia Arida, who took her inspiration for the name of the restaurant from ‘Mère’, the French language word for ‘mother’ and the honorary title bestowed upon female cooks in the city of Lyon that dates to the 18th Century.
The opening menu will offer an array of hearty and home-spun soups, salads and small plates, a trio of iconic ‘Croque’ sandwiches and mains and desserts including Lobster Bisque, French Onion Soup, Soup and Quiche du Jour, West Coast Niçoise Salad, and Mèreon Salad and many more delicacies.
North Shore resident Arida developed the menu with well-known Vancouver restaurateur/chef Emmanuel Joinville, who helmed the beloved former Gastown Bar à Vin Jules Bistro from 2007 to 2023. Joinville began his career in 1981 in his hometown of Dijon, France, as an apprentice at Chef Rene Villard’s Michelin 3-Starred restaurant Chateau Bourgogne and went on to become an acclaimed chef in his own right before emigrating to Vancouver with his family in 2000.
“We look forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike and showcasing a true taste of the sort of iconic café and bistro culture for which France is so well known,” says Ophelia. “Mèreon is all about celebrating French culture, cuisine and the simple joys of coming together around the table to enjoy time-honoured recipes and make memories with friends and family.”
In keeping with the French-meets-West-Coast theme, the Mèreon cellar will showcase a rotating array of wine, Champagne and sparkling available by the glass and bottle that hails from Old World vineyards as well as renowned wineries located in BC’s backyard like Penticton’s Roche, Kelowna’s Tantalus, Oliver’s Intersection, and more.
The Mèreon bar team will also feature a creative collection of no-guilt, zero-proof mocktails like Vanilla Lavender, Pineapple Tarragon, Cucumber Sage Lime and others that hit notes ranging from sweet and savoury to zesty and herbaceous and showcase handcrafted non-alcoholic spirits as well as a variety of house-made tinctures and cordials.