It’s no wonder Emad Yacoub is at physio when I call him. You might be, too, if you’d recently opened a $5- to $6-million restaurant while running eight others.
Glowbal is a visual stunner with an all-weather patio protected by soaring, winged, etched Italian glass and warmed partly by an interior energy-smart fireplace that diverts heat to the patio rather than roasting the inside diners sitting next it.
The palatial interior boasts three private rooms (The Gold Room, The Marilyn, and The Executive) and an expansive mezzanine upstairs. Downstairs, two dining areas and a lounge form distinct sections. Altogether, the restaurant seats about 400 guests.
Glowbal repositioned from Yaletown to the high-rent, high-traffic, high-end space in the new Telus Garden complex on Georgia Street. It seems high-risk, considering the era of expense accounts tanked with the last recession.
Oh no, says Yacoub.
“We’re averaging 800 dinners (guests) on a Friday and 300 covers for lunch,” he says, adding there are 4,000 workers in the Telus building (add another 1,000 when Amazon moves in) and all the surrounding office buildings. “It made sense for us to be packed.”
He also opened Nosh earlier this year, a more casual bakery-café inside the Telus Garden development that captures a big morning and afternoon market.
Glowbal, the namesake for Yacoub’s growing stable of restaurants under Glowbal Restaurant Group, was being overshadowed by his more grand Black and Blue steak house and Coast seafood restaurants. The move gives it flashier flagship impact, enough to export to other cities, which may be Yacoub’s next move and a reason for more physio appointments to come.
He calls Glowbal cuisine “Old American” with a hint of West Coast. “I didn’t want to call it American cuisine because people will think burgers and mashed potatoes,” says Yacoub.
There’s also more than a hint of Latin and Japanese flavours in the mix.
The chef is Pedro Gonzalez, who’s been helming Coast. He was a spoiled chef in Las Vegas, working under Michael Mina at Bellagio and Mark LoRusso at the Wynn resort. He was lured to Vancouver five years ago for the great products, he says.
Considering the scale of Glowbal and how quickly it can fill up, staff are on the ball, gracious and there are a lot of them on the floor. I’d lose the bland background music and amp up the Old American theme with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Charlie Parker or Billie Holiday to add a little soul.
For a budget-minded experience of Glowbal, there’s cocktail hour from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. About half the menu is 50-per-cent off and there is a $5 feature wine, beer or cocktail.
Read the full article online at the Vancouver Sun.
590 West Georgia St. | 604-602-0835
Open daily for lunch and dinner.