Cactus Club Coal Harbour — Vancouver, Canada
The hands-down winner of the Best Use of Former Olympic Site category is Vancouver’s new Cactus Club. Located opposite the Olympic cauldron (its torches still lit on special occasions, such as, umm… new restaurant openings), it was designed by Acton Ostry Architects within the shell of a pre-existing wing of the green-roofed convention centre.
Vancouverites are delighted with its current incarnation as another jewel in the crown of chef Rob Feenie (formerly of Lumiere) that blends fine dining and casual fare. Think sushi in delicately wrapped rice paper, prawn ravioli with truffle oil, lamb popsicles (inspired by top Van restaurant Vij’s) amid Acton Ostry’s elegant design.
Notable features include Poulson lamps, Bocci lighting, inlaid hand-cut Brazilian slate flooring, custom fir fin ceilings and a Warhol original of Wayne Gretzky. A series of terraced and sequenced framed views ensures everyone can dine by the sea - but for the best views, ask for a table by the huge angled windows.