Wild Garlic has opened a second location – Broadway and Arbutus. They serve a much wider variety of food, and have the same drink specials. All the great things about Wild Garlic, without having to go to the West End? Sounds great, but it’s not. Because what we love about the west end Wild Garlic is only exemplified in its cheap drink menu – a place for happy times, and a bit wild. Friendly – will stay open late just to serve you and your friends. The new one, however, is near a million retired old people and yuppies in mid rise apartments. Therefore, they serve a complete dinner menu (including a three course option), and have a wine list longer than my thesis needs to be. We went there for Caitlin’s birthday, and I had to point out that the cocktails were on special. I have never felt so unwelcome in a restaurant before – probably because I’ve never felt unwelcome at all. It’s not exactly a way to get returning customers. Now, the thing is I understand why they didn’t want us there – we didn’t spend much per person, and we certainly didn’t fit into the jet set yuppie crowd that order bottle after bottle of wine (which has to be the easiest profit a restaurant can ever make – they don’t even have to pour the drinks themselves!) But the fact is it’s called “Wild Garlic” and has the same drink specials sign out on the street. If they don’t go to any length to differentiate it from their other location, they oughtn’t make people who assumed it was like the other location sit directly next to the door (when the restaurant was virtually empty). We recieved the worst service I’ve ever experienced at a restaurant, but the poorness of the service was nothing in comparison to what it meant – that we were unwelcome. What’s worse is the lady who ‘served’ us is the same lady who I’ve seen at the other wild garlic being immensely nice to people.
So, if you are thinking of going to Wild Garlic, go the extra distance across the bridge and up Georgia to Denmen. It may appear that they have a second location, but is merely an illusion. What they ought really do is hang a large “Students Not Welcome here” sign outside.