If new restaurant openings are a sign of improving economic confidence, it looks like confidence in Whistler is on the rise.
Two new food and beverage outlets are scheduled to open in the coming weeks and these two new players are coming on line after the opening of the Red Door Bistro on Lake Placid Road in Creekside in December. The Red Door opened not long after the Grill and Vine debuted at the Westin Resort and Spa. Just before that the Mexican Corner pulled out of the Marketplace and went upscale in a larger space at the Sundial Hotel.
The Red Door Bistro is the brainchild of RD Stewart, the former chef at La Rua in the Le Chamois Hotel in the Upper Village. Stewart is serving dinner from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week at the Red Door.
The kitchen Stewart once called home is about to open as a chain restaurant called Wild Wing. There are more than 90 Wild Wing franchises in Ontario and a handful of Wild Wing dot the western side of Canada with locations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Restaurants were recently opened in Surrey and on Granville Street in Vancouver.
Wild Wing offers a family restaurant format with a sports bar feel. The franchise originated in Sunderland, Ontario back to 1999. Chicken wings are available in 101 flavours and the other menu items include big salads, wraps, tacos, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and fries. The new outlet at the former La Rua plans to open soon.
Early in 2013 Brickworks Hospitality Ltd. was before Whistler council as part of a liquor licensing application proposing a 75-person neighbourhood pub in the vacant restaurant space at the Delta Whistler Village Suites. This is the location that housed the Elephant and Castle between 2009 and 2012 and Milestones before that.
The Brickworks Public House is going to be a place to get a beverage and good quality food. Lunch and dinner will be served at Brickworks and a late-night menu will also be offered until 1 a.m.
Brickworks Hospitality director Priyanka Kathuria operates Three Below in the space next to Whistler Village 8 Cinemas.
According to Kathuria, the new pace will open in about six weeks. She describes it as a rustic industrial setting with some of the Elephant and Castle fixtures re-tooled to work with the new comfortable look and feel the new operators in the space are trying to achieve. She says the food focus won't be centered on deep-frying. The bar is going to have eight beers on tap and eight wines on tap through the Fresh Tap system.
"We're going to have a large craft bottled beer selection as well," says Kathuria.
The chef currently running the kitchen at Three Below, Chris Casswell, is going to oversee both kitchens.
Kathuria is excited about the entertainment plans they have for the pub. Whistler's first après karaoke is going to feature an Internet jukebox with access to a massive collection of music. In addition to late afternoon karaoke the space will be set up to accommodate live music.
"We're young entrepreneurs and this is what Whistler is," says Kathuria of Brickworks Public House.