Meet the owner

Doug Stephen and his business partner, Francis Regio, want you to enjoy oysters as much as they do. More than that, they want you to enjoy a high-quality dining experience at Commercial Drive’s Merchants Oyster Bar at a reasonable price and without all the pretentions of so-called “fine dining.”

“There's something about oysters that just make a room come alive,” says Doug. “Whether it's the stigmas and mysticisms that surround oysters, or the high zinc content that increases the blood flow, they just get people happy!” But oysters are one of only a handful of options that are ever-present one the Merchants Oyster Bar menu. Doug changes the menu two to three times per week, depending on which fresh, locally sourced ingredients he can get.

In fact, you'll find Doug at farmers' markets in the Commerical Drive area every Saturday, sourcing out fresh, organic, and free-run items for the menu. “If I find something really fresh at a good price on a Saturday morning, I might change the menu and have it appear on your plate Saturday night.” There's something for vegetarians and kids on the menu too.

In addition to wine pairings, Doug and Francis like to forge relationships with breweries and distilleries to pair a meal with a cocktail or a beer. “We source the smaller breweries and offer some of the best beers in the world,” says Doug. “We've become something of a beer destination.”

Read the story of Merchant Workshop

Ratings & Reviews - Merchant Workshop

How would you rate this business?
August 11, 2018

Always one of my favorite places to take people for dinner. It will be sorely missed. It is a perfect example of how a restaurant should be on all levels

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 28, 2018

everything was amazing, the service was great,and i'll really miss this place when they close.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 27, 2018

High quality ingredients, excellent saucing, great plating. Meat and fish were perfectly cooked. Dishes were flavourful and appealing. The three of us were impressed. Very generous and kind of you to comp us on the salmon main. We did need the food to come faster as mentioned to waitstaff (son's fencing class up the street), and didn't need to come out in a tasting course fashion--but it allowed each dish to be showcased. Sorry to hear that the restaurant is closing. We plan to check out Downlow next week!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 23, 2018

We started with cocktails, which were lovely. We ordered the arancini ($12) and sourdough ($6) to start. Imagine our surprise that the "arancini" was just a single one (arancini is plural... what you served was an arancino). It was reasonably good, but I definitely won't be ordering it again. Our pasta dishes were delicious and thoughtfully composed but I don't think the pasta was housemade. We passed on dessert and decided to just go next door for gelato.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 5/5

July 15, 2018

Sad to hear they're closing (or moving?) because my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our 6 course tasting menu. Great flavors, interesting variety, (though we did end up with two beef dishes, would have been nice to have maybe a pork or fish dish instead, but still delicious!), nice cocktails (really liked the Sunny C Margarita!), great service, and a great price for six courses- $58pp. I also really liked that the dessert course was not super sweet (verbena cream and berries). It was a nice light end to the meal.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 15, 2018

Are at the bar, and everything was perfect!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 12, 2018

Food was great, service was slow considering they weren't busy, prices were very high relative to the size of the dishes. they need to either lower the prices or provide more substantial entrees. Beautifu6presentation and great food though

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

July 5, 2018

Lovely food and service on the Drive..

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 24, 2018

Service was friendly , knowledgeable. Food was good but at table of 4 some were better than others. Octopus while tender was overwhelmed by boring lettuce, composition could have been more balanced. My husband had the duck and it was very good. The tuna had a textural issue in that it was a bit like mush as was the accompanying avocado, the dish was somewhat bland. I would try again .

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 5/5

June 20, 2018

Always the best time at merchants!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 17, 2018

Always friendly and delicious!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 15, 2018

Better than my expectations. Amazing food!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 10, 2018

The food here is sensational. The service staff are very well versed in food, wine and beer knowledge. I love coming here for our date nights! I have been several times with friends as well. The food is seasonal and creative. This time my partner and I had the 6 course Chef Tasting with Wine Pairings and it was perfect! If you have not been, then you best book a reservation as it is quite busy!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 4, 2018

We really like this restaurant. The only drawback was the noise level at our last visit. It was incredibly loud and made it hard to converse with our friends. Food and service were excellent.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 30, 2018

The overall experience was outstanding. The food was delicious, the service was prompt and friendly, the atmosphere of the restaurant was warm and inviting.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 27, 2018

Portions were very small for the price. Some items were overly salty so price cannot be justified for lack of quality. Spent almost $100 for myself including drink and left hungry. Has potential but can't compete for value in this area. Will not be back.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 4/5

May 27, 2018

Fantastic food and hospitality. We love Merchants and will be back soon!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 20, 2018

The staff was friendly and the food was amazing. The space was a bit tight (barely enough to get by the tables) but everything else made up for it! I would definitely recommend the duck confit and the halibut!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 20, 2018

Love this place, delishous local food with amazing service. Knowledgeable staff that are fun and friendly.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 14, 2018

Wondering why I don't come here more often. Terrific all around!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 6, 2018

One of THE BEST places in Vancouver to have a special night out with friends and family. Fantastic food and drinks, spectacular service and a warm and friendly atmosphere rounds out one of the best kept secrets in town. Go. You will not be disappointed.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 2, 2018

Charm charm charm

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 30, 2018

Had brunch @ Merchants....fantastic, delicious food, well prepared, very reasonably priced. Will definitely go back to try dinner or lunch.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

April 30, 2018

We had the baked clams appetizer and the duck breast entrée and cocktails to drink (The Last Bird). Everything was absolute perfection.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 21, 2018

Amazing dinner and service. Will definitively be back again! Highly recommend going to enjoy for yourself

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 18, 2018

We are always impressed with the quality service and wonderful food, and look forward to our next visit.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 16, 2018

Eggs Bennies were delicious. Go for the salad side. The hash browns were covered in a hoisin-like sauce. Great service and a solid Ceasar:)

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

April 16, 2018

Great dishes and excellent service. We'll definitely visit again.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

March 25, 2018

Great friendly atmosphere, and consistently excellent food and drinks.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

March 19, 2018

Excellent food and great, friendly service.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

Get an opinion about this business!

Think your friends might be familiar with this business? Ask your friends on Facebook to see what they think.

Appears in 6 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Best spots to drink wine on Vancouver's Commercial Drive

Best spots to drink wine on Vancouver's Commercial Drive

Oyster bars exist in a world of their own. Catering to a like-minded crowd of bivalve lovers means the sommelier can focus on a particular type of wine – usually sparklers and whites that have the acidity to cut through the brine of ocean treats. Refresh your palate between slurps with a cava from Spain or brut from France. There’s a bubbly from the Okanagan, too. The whites include labels from B.C., France, Chile and New Zealand, all seafood-loving spots.

View this Smart List
8 Vancouver brunch restaurants for amazing eggs Benedict

8 Vancouver brunch restaurants for amazing eggs Benedict

Given the name of this restaurant, their menu is surprisingly diverse. Merchant’s is dedicated to in-house creations and local ingredients (look up from your seat to see herbs drying from the ceiling). This attention to details is evident in their food, especially the Bahn Mi Benny, which combines seared pork belly and bahn mi pickle with a cilantro-chili fermented hollandaise. The Asian-inspired breakfast dish is served in a friendly, warm atmosphere that’s perfect for long brunches with a mimosa or two.

View this Smart List
Outstanding oyster bars in Vancouver

Outstanding oyster bars in Vancouver

You might initially head out to this Commercial Drive spot for the oysters, but you’ll return for everything on the delightful menu. Oysters raw and baked, tuna and steak tartare, pork terrine, crab and prawn pasta, are all made with local and ethically sourced meats and seafood. The wine and craft beer list along with great service complete the package. Stop in for an excellent weekend brunch.

View this Smart List
Contact this business
Close menu
Subscribe to YP Newsletter