The Wild Thing team (Ezra Kish, Erin Rideout, Todd Graham, Kody Abrams, Rayne Williams, Tam Fuller) is currently working through their first few days of service in ‘friends and family’ mode, with the intention to (softly) open doors on tomorrow morning (Friday, October 28th).
I swung by pre-service on Tuesday to take a look at the new space. The now-completed room has a mix of table and bar seating, as well as a 10-seat communal table. The lighting is soft, and the music is good. The room feels easy and comfortable, just like a neighbourhood joint should.
Although the menu at Wild Thing’s second location is not plant-based like at their Powell Street restaurant, Main Street’s creative-yet-approachable fare includes a selection of hot and cold small plates, including plenty of veg options. On my visit, the parade of dishes coming out of the kitchen for staff tasting had everything from Schezwan cucumber salad and tempeh croquettes, to Taiwanese-style fried rice and house-made beignets. From what I saw (and tasted) there will be something for everyone – from breakfast straight through to late night snacks.
The beverage program is equally agreeable. Think a small but thoughtfully chosen selection of wine, an array of local craft beer, and a well-rounded line-up of cocktails (nod to bartender Hana Allen Hogue). I’m already looking forward to tucking into an Ol’ Wild Thing (mushroom-infused whisky, sage and rosemary simple syrup, bitters and lemon).
If this is the first you’re hearing about Wild Thing, here’s some backstory:
The bones of 2420 Main (Wallflower Restaurant since 2009, and before that, Aurora Bistro) are pretty darn nice. This team is well aware of that fact (hat tip to Chef Jeff Van Geest, who transformed the space back in 2003 to what will forever be one of the most impactful and beautiful restaurants of its day – Aurora Bistro). Plans are to clean it up and restore the good stuff while updating and adding their personality to the room.
From co-owner Erin Rideout: “Where Wild Thing ” is meant to be a bright, earthy, light escape from the city where you can sit down to have a nice glass of wine and plant-based snacks. Our focus on Main Street will be providing something new to the area for brunch, dinner and bar snacks. The Main street spot will feel a lot more like finding that fun, creative, hang-out place. More for the eye to look at. Ironically this spot could be more “wild” than Wild Thing.” If we heard someone walk in and say “this is neat’’, “look at that, that’s rad,” or “Wow, they have this on the menu?!” we wouldn’t be mad. We don’t want anyone to feel like they are walking into someone else’s clubhouse or that the menu or room doesn’t have something to offer them. It’s been our goal from coming together to be as inclusive as we can be. It’s hard to check every box, but we will keep doing our best.”
Starting Friday, October 28th, Wild Thing Main Street will be open: Sunday to Thursday from 10am to 12am (closed Tuesdays); Friday + Saturday from 10am to 1am. Until then, take a look at the gallery below for a sense of what to expect…