Top Chef’s Trevor Bird to open Fable; Refuel restaurant closing

At the screening party for Top Chef Canada Season 2 at Ensemble Tap on March 12, Top Chef competitor and Vancouver-based chef Trevor Bird announced that he will open his first restaurant, Fable, where Kitsilano's Refuel restaurant now stands (1944 West 4th Avenue).

“I was looking for a restaurant for a couple months, and with the budget we had and the timeline that we wanted to do, it just made sense to get a restaurant that was all up and running, that already had its licenses and already had some equipment,” Bird confirmed while on the line with the Straight Wednesday (March 14) morning.

The food at Fable will be farm-to-table, modern Canadian cuisine, which in turn, inspired the name of the restaurant.

“The food has a moral story,” Bird said. “It’s just kind of pushing ethical food and knowing where your food comes from.”

The 28-year-old chef, who moved from Montreal to Vancouver a few years ago, previously worked as a chef de partie at the Shangri-La Hotel before starting his own catering and consulting business, Trevor Bird Cooking. He said that competing on Top Chef helped him get in touch with the type of cooking he’s most passionate about, which will be reflected in the menu at Fable.

“We’re going to make our own bacon, make our own smoked salmon,” Bird said about the dishes he envisions on the menu. “Everything’s going to be made in-house. I’m not going to be buying too much stuff, and I’m going to be doing everything from the ground up.”

Bird said that Fable will be open for dinner and eventually brunch, and that he hopes to maintain the casual, neighbourhood-restaurant feel that Refuel established.

”It’s definitely going to be casual dining,” he said. “A returning spot, where people can come over and over again to get real, familiar food.”

Bird, who partners with Kathy Schleyer and Ron MacGillivray on this restaurant, hopes that Fable will open mid-May. Meanwhile, Refuel’s last service will be March 24. Chef and owner Robert Belcham and business partner Tom Doughty, who are also the team behind Campagnolo and Campagnolo Roma, hope to focus their attention on opening Fat Dragon (566 Powell Street) in early April.

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Comments (7) Add New Comment
Refuel already makes all their own bacon, burgers (best burgers I've ever had) bread, sausage, and locally sources everything they create! They already have brunch and lunch too. I'm sad to see a unique restaurant like this disappear when we have so many chains that offer none of these qualities. Why couldn't Trevor Bird buy a godamned Earls or Cactus club. Go now and avoid regret... before it's gone!
Rating: -5
I agree! Why couldn't Trevor Bird buy a godamned Earls or Cactus club.
We will miss Refuel.
Rating: -5
Sandra Bois
Wishing all the best to Trevor Bird in his new adventure and hope all goes well with your new restaurant.
Rating: +2
Yes, I agree, best wishes to Trevor and his new restaurant!
Rating: -3
I hope people realize that it's not as if Trevor stole Refuel or bought them out. Rob and Tom made the decision to move their focus elsewhere. I think Fable will be just as good if not better than Refuel, best of luck!
Rating: +3
Not sure if one can become more ignorant ....IN order to buy a restaurant- the incumbent owners had to offer it up for sale..stealing?? really??hardly.

All the best to you Trevor, looking forward to having you in the foodie hood, and all the best to Fat Dragon, we'll definetly miss reFuel.

Can't wait to try both, always nice to have new restaurants to add to FAVORITES LIST ( :
Rating: +1
Ha! Let's just see how long all these new "top chef" places last...with Ensemble just opening? I see some competition surfacing.
Rating: -3
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