It may not seem like running a restaurant and playing for the NHL have much in common, but after dabbling in both, former Canuck Kirk McLean says the industries are more similar than you’d think.

“(Both) are a team effort,” said McLean, who recently opened a deli, casual fine dining restaurant and cozy downstairs lounge in a historic Gastown building.

“(General manager) Jim Bateman and (executive chef) Eddie Szasz have different roles — one has the kitchen and the other the floor — and it all has to come together. If there’s one weak link, it’s not going to work.”

Bateman said McLean isn’t just another celebrity who’s attached his name to a business — he’s at the restaurant every day, and can usually be found at the bar hobnobbing with his guests.

“I’ve always had my roots in Vancouver,” said McLean. “(This) is a way to be part of the community, to give back.”