Wild Rice restaurant to close Vancouver location

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      After more than a dozen years located near the gates of Chinatown, Wild Rice will be closing its Vancouver location (117 West Pender Street) following service on January 31. Restaurant owner Andrew Wong has decided to consolidate operations to New Westminster and will continue to run Wild Rice’s River Market location (810 Quayside Drive).

      “This has not been an easy decision,” Wong stated in a news release today (January 9). “It’s time to spend more time with my family. I want to concentrate my efforts on the New Westminster location as I see the area as an emerging market. New Westminster has been tremendously welcoming and supportive of Wild Rice.

      “When we first opened, we were the only restaurant for blocks. We were also the first to bring the concept of ‘modern Chinese cuisine’ to Vancouver. I am very proud of that,” Wong continued. “We are also the first Chinese restaurant to embrace the local, seasonal and sustainable movement – working with local suppliers, using organic ingredients, and being inaugural members of OceanWise.”

      Wong launched Wild Rice in Vancouver in 2001 and opened a second location in 2011. Wong co-owns the New Westminster restaurant with executive chef Todd Bright.



      Sam M

      Jan 9, 2014 at 5:21pm

      Yet another long term business closing because of increasing rents. These landlords should be ashamed of themselves.


      Jan 9, 2014 at 11:25pm

      Did you read the article? He wants to focus on one restaurant because of the area (New West - "emerging market"), and also he can spend more time with his family.

      Bah humbug, Scrooge. Christmas is over. Cheer up.

      Wake up Vancouver

      Jan 10, 2014 at 12:24am

      Are you really so naive? The increasing rents are a direct result of those running Greedy City of Vancouver institution. I have lived in the same part of town over 25 years, and seen my property taxes rise exponentially. There is nothing i can do. "BC Ass-sessment" appeals before Jan 31st is a joke!

      It's about time

      Jan 10, 2014 at 7:38am

      I think there's more to the story than just "spending more time with his family". The food is overpriced Costco. The drinks aren't all that. The decor is dated. I think he's realized that he can't sustain it in a world of cut-throat restaurateurs, and is getting out now. Wise choice. If it wasn't now, he would have run it into the ground, and someone else would have taken it away from him. That's the way the game goes in Vancouver. Fickle foodies will eat you alive in this city!


      Jan 10, 2014 at 11:23am

      Had one of my worst meals ever at the New West Wild Rice last year.
      Was surprised 'cause had good meals at the Van. location.
      Oh well...no more Wild Rice for me.

      Emerging Market?

      Jan 10, 2014 at 2:40pm

      Since when has New Westminster been an emerging market? Parts of the city are as sketchy as Surrey's Whalley and the puppieless yuppie class that Yaletown, the West End, and Kitsilano thrive off of just doesn't exist there yet.