Behind the Name: Vancouver's Nightingale

How this Vancouver restaurant's name was inspired by a classic fable

Nightingale is a lively Vancouver restaurant serving seasonal family-style dishes inspired by modern Canadian cuisine. Their award-winning chef David Hawksworth is known for bringing delicious food to the table, and his nickname "Hawk" is partial inspiration for the name of the restaurant.

"We wanted to come up with something playful and fun, something that also loosely tied into chef Hawksworth’s name—Hawk is his nickname," says Jacky Chui, the marketing manager of Nightingale.

They considered many different names, including Night Hawk, The Hawk and the Nightingale, Stella, Wild North, The Hawk’s Nest, Hawk Off Hastings, Adere, Paper Plane, and 1021 Hastings.

In the end, the name Nightingale arose from Aesop’s fable The Hawk and the Nightingale:

A nightingale, sitting aloft upon an oak, was seen by a hawk,
who made a swoop down, and seized him.
The nightingale earnestly besought the Hawk to let him go,
saying that he was not big enough to satisfy the hunger of a hawk,
who ought to pursue the larger birds.

The hawk said:
"I should indeed have lost my senses if I should let go food ready to my hand,
for the sake of pursuing birds which are not yet even within sight."

"[The fable] tells the story of a hungry hawk who chooses to keep his tiny nightingale instead of waiting for a bigger bird to come along. It gives us the proverb 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,' meaning that it’s better to hold on to and appreciate what you already have than to lust for something bigger or better. So celebrate the present moment, here and now with us at Nightingale."

Nightingale offers takeout and delivery seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and their covered patio opens at noon every day for reservations or walk-ins.