A downtown Vancouver restaurant has found another creative way to connect with customers and offer a nod to its location's storied past.
Cold Tea, the modern Chinese-Vietnamese restaurant that opened up this spring on the Granville strip, sits where Tsui Hang Village served up late-night eats inside and from a streetside take-out window to downtown revellers and night owls for years.
Its name is a loving riff on Tsui Hang's not-so-secret menu trickery of selling a pot of "cold tea" after hours which was code for beer.
Now Cold Tea is reviving the location's take-out window, with plans to serve up a menu of "AFC" - which is short for "Asian Fried Chicken."
The timing couldn't be better, because fried chicken is really having a moment in Vancouver.
The restaurant launched a separate Instagram page for AFC by Cold Tea, which teased this weekend that people in the area might be getting a glimpse of its new offerings.
Cold Tea hasn't shared a full menu for its AFC window, however they have said the fried chicken comes with a "highly addictive" pho gravy for dipping.
New restaurants struggling to survive pandemic restrictions
Since its debut in May, at a time when established restaurants in Vancouver were beginning to emerge from provincial restrictions on dining in alongside offering take-out, Cold Tea has been serving up fare like stuffed bao, banh mi, rice and noodle dishes, and all-day dim sum - with expanded weekend "Disco Dum Sum" offerings featuring old-school dim sum carts, mimosas, and a live DJ.
With current provincial public health orders limiting the hours in which restaurants and bars can serve liquor, places like Vancouver's Granville Entertainment District are seeing a decided shift in their customer base and far quieter nights than in pre-pandemic days (with some exception, of course). While some provincial and federal supports for small businesses affected by the pandemic are in place, a new business like Cold Tea, which opened after the pandemic began, has said in recent months they have been "left out in the cold" by the government, despite having safety plans and adhering to all orders and laws.
For those who are keen to support Vancouver restaurants but who are choosing to refrain from dining inside locations, Cold Tea is among those with a robust take-out menu, available for delivery from third party apps as well as for pick-up via direct order on Tock. Keep an eye on the Cold Tea AFC Instagram page, too, for word of the take-out window's official launch.
Cold Tea is located at 1193 Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver.