by Andrew Morrison | As noted in our Community News section last week, vegetarian eatery The Parker will be closing down at the end of this week. It should reopen the following week – if all goes according to plan – with a brand new name and a modified concept.
The new Chinatown/Strathcona establishment will be called “Big Trouble”, and the food will be similar to The Parker’s, only Chef Feliz Zhou will be adding ethically sourced meats, poultry, and seafoods to the mix.
Though the vegetarian/vegan concept was much loved, I think it’s a wise move, as the protein additions will only serve to broaden the appeal of what was already a strong restaurant. They’ll still have plenty of plant-based options, and price points will stick to an accessible $10-$25 range. They’re also not veering from their green path, aiming for zero waste.
What’s in a name? I was thinking of the 1986 Kurt Russell film, Big Trouble in Little China, but here’s the official word: “We called it Big Trouble because it sounds fun and is probably more ironic than anything else, given our sustainable mandate and that we only hold about 24 troublemakers at any one time. You can still make trouble outside on our massive patio (seats 4) which is available for walk-in only this summer.”
From the bar, we can count on good cocktails, and co-owner Steve Da Cruz will be pouring from a new wine-pairing program featuring biodynamic producers. “Look for a little Pelaverga by the glass or maybe a bottle of Rol & Clairette alongside Lock & Worth’s sublime Cab Franc,” he says, adding that craft beers from 33 Acres and Four Winds will also be on hand.
From what I understand, the renovation is going to be minor. Expect the same bright, white and woody aesthetic, only with KAWS XX bulbs in charge of lighting (you might remember these beauties from the recent Grand Hotel exhibit at the VAG).
“After three years and a lot of success we’re really thrilled to see many restaurants with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options on their menus. It speaks to how fast our industry is willing to adapt […],” reads a draft statement that will officially announce Big Trouble in the coming days. “And after speaking with our clients over the past few weeks, the support for what we’re doing is solid and people are very excited. Nobody is more excited than us.” We’re crossing our fingers for a smooth transition. See you there.