The new location of Yolks opened this morning at 1598 East Hastings. The bright, 1,800 sqft corner address in the newly constructed Boheme building is three blocks east of the original spot at Hastings and Woodland. It holds some sixty seats split between window stools, two floating bench banquettes and six booths. It will also boast a sidewalk patio once the weather turns.
The modern interior design is a new direction for the company, which began as a humble food truck concept. The new look is by local design house Campos Studios, with a brand/identity overhaul by Glasfurd & Walker. Both gel well with the all-day brunch concept.
Much has stayed the same, of course. Nostrils are still filled with the smells of bacon, hot coffee and Yolks’ signature lemon-truffle hashbrowns; there’s still plenty of pop art on the walls (look out for stoner Chewbacca!); and the service is as swift and upbeat as I remember it. Though some might balk at its sleekness and pine for the Brave Bull’s wonky old bones (the original Yolks was formerly an iconic, value-driven steakhouse called the Brave Bull), such is progress. I fear the old building is not long for this world. My guess is the land is destined to see condos few can afford, natch.
Anyway, I poked my head in last night when owner Steve Ewing and his crew were finishing construction (an all-nighter for some) and returned this morning for some Eggs Benedict. What a difference a day makes. When I left the night before it was a shambles of construction, but here it was already packed and jumping. Steve was in a back booth with his family. He pointed out a few things that still needed to be done, mentioning the need for sound baffling (I didn’t think it was too bad) and that the banquette/booth cushions were not yet in place. Overall, however, I think he has good reason to be satisfied. The place looks and feels like it has been there for quite some time already, and the regulars evidently hadn’t skipped a beat. I expect it will fill up at least a couple of times every day.
There have been some menu changes for the better (for example, the fried chicken and waffles is now a composed dish with collared greens, and they’re using buttermilk instead of panko), plus they’ve expanded their list of cocktails and beers. They’ve also gone into the espresso game with some assistance (and beans) from the good folks at Agro Roasters close by on Clark Drive. So yeah, it actually smells even better than it used to, if you can believe it.
Take a look for yourselves as soon as you can. If you encounter a line-up, don’t worry — just leave your name and number and go for a walkabout. Maybe check out the new Depot Cafe from Timbertrain around the corner or the nearby Earnest Ice Cream. Yolks uses an excellent app that will buzz you when your table is ready.