An, who also co-owns Maenam, Longtail Kitchen, Sen Pad Thai, Fat Mao Noodles and Popina Canteen, showed me around the space at 188 East Pender St. between rainstorms yesterday. Tucked away inside the new Chinatown House, it’s bright, cheerful, tantalizingly aromatic and ready to go with counter-service and a fully capable – if comically tiny – kitchen where An’s master stock bubbles away (see photos).
Here’s some text from my last story on the project:
If you are unfamiliar with the Freebird concept, it earned its reputation for deliciousness by way of its consistently excellent free-range, hormone-free, authentic chicken dishes served alongside a variety of smaller plates and side dishes like rice, soup and salads. It was a solid, reliable spot that was well worth the Skytrain ride.
My family loved their deeply flavourful Hainan-style chicken and their oh-so-amazing fried chicken (which came later to their New West operation). Given the limits of the address, I doubt they’ll be equipped with a deep fryer here. Either way, I’m just selfishly glad that Freebird’s resurrection is within easy walking distance from my front door.
You can read the menu here. The 20 seater will be open from 9am until 6pm, Monday through Friday to start. The plan is to extend service into evenings and weekends in a month or so.
If you have trouble finding it, just look for the colourful exterior murals by Chrissy Cheung on Pender just west of Main.