Vancouver-based architecture and interiors firm September channels the restaurant’s Tofino origins via subtle references to the area’s beachy, forested grounds.
By Lauren Mang
Photographed by Vishal Marapon
If you haven’t tried one of Tacofino’s legendary fish tacos, let’s just say you’re missing out. Big time.
The bright orange food truck popped up more than a decade ago in a surf shop parking lot in Tofino on Vancouver Island, BC.
Since then, Tacofino has been expanding its empire, opening a slew of eateries and food trucks across Vancouver and one in Victoria. Its latest restaurant, a 1,000-square-foot, low-ceilinged, slightly industrial space, opened last fall in Vancouver’s Kitsilano (a.k.a. Kits) neighborhood.
“People in Kits love Tofino, so we wanted to subtly reference it in the design, while not being too explicitly referential to the woods or the beach,” says Shiloh Sukkau, principal at Vancouver-based architecture and interiors studio September. To conjure the surf town’s windswept, forested grounds, the firm pared down the interior to its concrete shell and incorporated materials such as cedar cladding—painted in a bright retro green hue—tiles embedded with rocks for the front of the service counter, and beach stone terrazzo table tops. Electrical conduit runs along the concrete walls and ceiling in a wave-like pattern, which is echoed in the mural on the opposite side.
“Because the space is so small, we wanted it to be as bright as possible with a contrast between the materials and colors,” Sukkau says. “The green is a surf-y green. You can almost imagine a VW van or surfboard stripes painted that color.”