The GOODS from The Red Wagon
Vancouver, BC | Fans of The Red Wagon diner exhaled last week when the popular eatery reopened after quietly moving to a new location (2128 E. Hastings St.), two blocks west on Hastings Street. Incorporating touches of the old with the new, the freshly renovated space comfortably integrates simple mid-century design with a few reassuring accents from the original location. The beloved daytime menu remains the same, and dinner service — launching Thursday, Dec. 17 — will also offer nostalgic flavours and heartwarming dishes.
The Red Wagon’s move has been in the works for two years, during which time owner Brad Miller permanently shuttered Bistro Wagon Rouge, the diner’s French-style sister restaurant. Reviving many of the French flavours that neighbourhood residents have dearly missed, Miller is incorporating the bistro’s influence into The Red Wagon’s new dinner menu. A revolving fresh sheet of American-diner-meets-French-bistro-classics will be featured daily, from 5 p.m. onward. This week, eager diners can look forward to menu highlights including The Bistro Burger, Chicken Liver Pâté Banh Mi, Salt Cod Twice-Baked Potato and Lois Lake Steelhead Noisette.
“My intention has always been to provide comfort,” explains Miller. “It has been a long road, and my team and I are excited to get back to what we do best—creating nostalgic food and drinks that aim to connect.”
New members have been added to The Red Wagon team to efficiently stickhandle expanded lunch and dinner service in the larger new space. Mainstay Luke Smith retains the kitchen helm while Hugh Mongey now manages the restaurant, notable bartender Rob Scope runs the cocktail program, and Meg McDowell oversees the thoughtfully curated wine list.
Humble in size and approachable in price, the drinks menu will feature classic cocktails with a twist, along with a frequently rotating slate of carefully chosen wines focusing on small producers who are farmers at heart and who use sustainable agricultural practices.
“When I first started to realize that I enjoyed wine, it was the head-to-heart connection through sensory experience that did me in,” explains McDowell. “Wine is able to tell a story while bringing you back to a certain moment in time that only you remember, or to places you have never been.”
The Red Wagon was originally named as a nod to Miller’s childhood love of rocketing down hills in his little Radio Flyer wagon, and the name continues to serve as a nostalgic touchstone as Miller looks to establish a sense of continuity in the restaurant’s new digs. If there’s one thing everyone could use a little more of these days, it’s comfort, and The Red Wagon is serving it up generously both day and night. All-day breakfast and lunch is available until 2 p.m., and dinner begins at 5 p.m.; in between, the crew dishes up a selection of the menu’s greatest hits along with a few snacks. The Red Wagon is now open Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.. These hours may change during the holidays; checking the website in advance is highly recommended.
About The Red Wagon | The Red Wagon is a beloved East Van institution that combines nostalgic comfort food with French simplicity and ethical sourcing in a casual diner atmosphere. Having gained national recognition after being featured on the Food Network’s popular television series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2011, it remains a destination to this day. Guests can enjoy Red Wagon classics through breakfast, lunch, and dinner; signature dishes include the famous pulled pork pancakes, smoky tomato soup with grilled cheese, and The Bistro Burger.