Araxi Restaurant owners reveal details of second Whistler location 

Dual-concept restaurant, Bar Oso and The Cellar by Araxi, slated to open this fall

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BRANDON HART - ARAXI EMPIRE Araxi Executive Chef James Walt is expanding his repertoire with a second Whistler location set to open this fall.
  • Photo by Brandon Hart
  • ARAXI EMPIRE Araxi Executive Chef James Walt is expanding his repertoire with a second Whistler location set to open this fall.

Toptable Group has revealed details of its second Whistler property, a dual-concept restaurant that ownership says will "deepen the Araxi experience."

Headed by Araxi executive chef James Walt and restaurant director Neil Henderson, the new village venue — named "Bar Oso"and "The Cellar by Araxi" — will add another dimension to Whistler's dining scene.

"These exciting new spaces, beautifully created by Box Interior Design, are a great extension for Araxi Restaurant and our talented team," said Toptable president Michael Doyle in a release.

Bar Oso — named after the Spanish word for one of Whistler's favourite critters, the bear — is envisioned as a Spanish-inspired eatery that will dish out small plates, such as Iberico ham, chilled seafood, charcuterie made entirely in-house, and a range of tapas drawing on Walt's extensive international repertoire.

Housed in the former space of the Savage Beagle, the ground-floor space will be open late daily and will seat between 30 and 40 people.

"Bar Oso, located Village Stroll level, will be open daily to the public to serve sharing plates, compelling cocktails, and approachable wines," said Doyle in the release.

On the lower level, The Cellar by Araxi will be home to intimate dinners and special events, and will feature a wine wall and dedicated wine room. The show kitchen adds an interactive element as well, with plans to host cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs. It will seat between 50 and 60.

"The Cellar by Araxi will allow us to extend our private dining and meeting space options," Doyle added. "We think that with their exciting décor and extraordinary food and drink, both venues will deepen the Araxi experience."

Located just steps away from Araxi, the new space was imagined by Box Interior Design, an award-winning firm responsible for the sleek, modern looks of several hospitality venues, including the Adara Hotel in Whistler, and Celebrities Nightclub and Yaletown Brewing Company in Vancouver.

Walt will oversee the menu and kitchen operations at the venue, while service will be orchestrated by Henderson.

The Aquilini Investment Group purchased Toptable in 2013 from restaurateur and founding father of Whistler's restaurant industry, Jack Evrensel, who stayed on in a consulting role until February of this year, when plans for the new Whistler venue were announced.

It's been a milestone year for Toptable and its slate of restaurants. The company took home five Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards in April, while 2015 also marked CinCin's 25th anniversary, and Blue Water Café and West both turned 15.

Bar Oso and The Cellar by Araxi are set to open this fall at #9-4222 Village Square.

Tickets are still available for Araxi's Longtable Dinner at North Arm Farm in Pemberton on Sept. 3. Visit araxi.myshopify.com to purchase.

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