Earls Restaurant Group Opening 1st Location for Casual California-Inspired Foodservice Concept ‘Birdies’ [Interview/Images]

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Earls Restaurant Group is opening a new California-inspired brand in Metro Vancouver in July.

Birdies Eats & Drinks is set to take over the former Earls Bridge Park location at 3850 Lougheed in Burnaby.

Kristin Vekteris

“We see an opportunity in the market for a casual, fun concept with high-quality, addictive food and drinks at an inviting price point,” said Marshall Fuller, Director of Operations at Birdies. Kristin Vekteris, Chief Brand Officer at Earls, said the new concept comes with a sunny attitude and a laid back atmosphere.

“The atmosphere is casual, laid back. The menu is light, bright, fresh, ingredient driven, flavour driven – food at an approachable price point,” she said.

“We think there’s a bit of a gap in the market and that there’s a white space and opportunity for a more casual, relaxed atmosphere that has elevated food.”

Birdies at 3850 Lougheed in Burnaby (Image: Birdies)

The new concept will open July 7.

“Burnaby is a really up and coming, vibrant area of the city. There’s lots of young couples, young families. It’s becoming extremely dense. The population is growing rapidly,” said Vekteris. “It’s one of the most up and coming areas in the Greater Vancouver Area.”

The restaurant is just under 8,000 square feet and will have 263 seats, 75 of which are patio seats.

“This is a brand new brand. It was created by a small team at Earls. The operations are completely separate from Earls and it’s a brand new concept. We’re based in Vancouver and this is our first Birdies Eats & Drinks location.”

Birdies at 3850 Lougheed in Burnaby (Image: Birdies)
Image: Birdies

Will there be more?

“Right now, we’re just focusing on opening our first one. We haven’t even had any guests in the door yet. So we’re just really looking forward to introducing customers to the first Birdies Eats & Drinks. But we did build it for scale. We’d love to open more. But really the focus is let’s just get this first one open and share it with customers and see what the response is,” said Vekteris.

“That said, we haven’t even opened yet and we already are having a pretty incredible response from customers who did a pop-up (recently) and people are really excited about the concept. They feel it’s something different and fresh in the market.”

The company said the concept will also feature a Provisions area where customers can purchase ready-to-eat meals, ingredients and sauces. 

The day-to-day operations of Birdies will be run by a new team creating a more laid-back, fun and casual feel when dining at Birdies.

“Being able to create a menu from scratch was pretty exciting. So we started with the menu and then we built out the brand, the drinks, the design of the restaurant,” said Vekteris.

“We did a lot of research on how people want to dine today, how people want to eat and drink and be in restaurants. And we spent a lot of time in California and we got some information from Australia. We were really inspired by those markets which are ahead in terms of trends. So we got the idea of sunshine, beaches, fresh ingredients, fun times, really high quality food and great service.”

Birdies at 3850 Lougheed in Burnaby (Image: Birdies)
Image: Birdies

The menu at Birdies was designed for how people want to eat today. 

“Developed by notable Chef David Wong, the Birdies menu is shareable and healthy-ish with indulgent options that leave you satisfied. Ingredient and flavour driven, this menu makes it difficult to choose, with notable options like the Oh So Sticky Korean Ribs, Thai Noodle Salad and Rigatoni Arrabiata. Brunch lovers can look forward to decadent items like the Poached Pear Dutch Baby Pancake and Aloha Bowl, available on the weekends from 10 am to 2 pm, as well as half priced bubbles on Saturdays and Sundays during Brunch hours,” says the company. 

“Birdies bar program leans into the sunny vibe with an emphasis on fresh-squeezed juice, crushable cocktails, sustainably grown wines, sessionable beers, and delicious spirit free drinks. The menu was developed by Beverage Director David Stansfield and Katie Ingram, Vancouver Magazine’s 2020 Bartender of the Year. Margaritas makeup the heart of the cocktail menu. The classic fresh squeezed Margarita features fresh lime juice and 100% agave tequila. It comes individually on the rocks or in a retro, shareable two-litre dispenser.

“The stylish, mid-century modern inspired restaurant, designed by Emily Stadnyk and Creative Director Elly Chronakis, includes touches of greenery, colorful fabrics and bright interiors, as well as sunny, California-inspired art from local artists. Next to the bar is a garage style door that opens onto a gorgeous sun-filled 1785-square-foot patio, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of their day and soak up some sun while enjoying a bowl, salad or one of Birdies’ signature dishes and shareable margaritas with friends.”

Renderings via Birdies

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

1 COMMENT

  1. Everything looks so nice and clean and fun when it is brand new! – It looks very “Martha Stewart Living”. I like and would try the different seating choices that are mixed together and the overall color palette. Nice details like: the hooks for hand bags, the B-A-R lights, etc. The kerning of the type (all over) and the different fonts for the same “communication usage category” and various font use for the “brand name” would drive me a little bit nuts. I would visit (with friends) if I lived close: as (to me) the experience of a restaurant is as important as the food.

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