Hastings-Sunrise’s popular Red Wagon Cafe will serve its pulled pork pancakes this weekend as it gets ready to move to its new location two blocks west at 2128 East Hastings Street.
I toured the 2,400 sqft space (formerly IPOH Asian House) with owner Brad Miller earlier this afternoon. He’s been at it through fits and starts here for almost two years, having taken possession back in 2018 (and having wanted to move out of the original address for much longer). I was glad to see that it’s very nearly done now, with a liquor license for 55 seats that includes about a dozen at the bar and mix of booths, banquettes, and several window tables. I don’t know how the seating plan will shake down with Covid restrictions, but there you go.
It looks plain and simple, like a good diner should. There are bits of character here and there, like the refurbished stackable chairs that came from an American synagogue, a few visual repetitions of the red wagon motif, and the old absinthe vessel that once sat on the bar at Red Wagon’s former sister restaurant, Bistro Wagon Rouge.
Regular customers of the original will feel very much at home here. Brad explained the menu will be the same in the daytime, but that we can also expect an old school diner-centric dinner service that will feature a few bistro dishes that harken back to the French-accented Wagon Rouge (think steak frites, beef bourguignon, etc). Though the restaurant is set to open as soon as next weekend (December 4th is the target), dinner service likely won’t kick off for another couple of weeks, or just before Christmas.
It was still obviously unfinished on my walkthrough, but have a look inside just the same. You’ll get the idea…