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Spreading like Wildwood fire

"We want trade to be predominantly locals. A hide away for the people who work here to get away from the tourist crowd" Richard Yee.

Spreading like Wildwood fire

The locals’ secret that’s out of the bag

Ask a local Whistlerite "where’s a good place for a nice meal that’s reasonably priced?" and chances are they are going to say "the Wildwood Pacific Bistro."

Why? Because the proof is in the pudding. The owners have put their money where their mouths are and all the other food-related proverbials you can think of.

With practically no advertising, no promotions and no official restaurant reviews, the Wildwood Pacific Bistro has managed to stay consistently busy since it’s December ’02 opening and continues to rate as one of the best choices in town.

Despite the buzz among foodies though, Head Chef and founding partner for the Wildwood, Richard Yee, said he’d like the relative anonymity to continue.

"We purposely didn’t even put signage up out the front to keep the clientele down," he said confusingly.

Err, excuse me if I’m wrong Richard, but don’t most businesses want as much trade as they can get?

"In most cases, yes. But for us, we want trade to be predominantly locals. A hideaway for the people who work here to get away from the tourist crowd," said Yee.

The unusual plan seems to be working, with regulars pouring through the door from sun up thanks to their famed eggs benny dishes, lunch time with their tasty sandwiches and salads, and now dinner with their exciting steak and seafood Asian-fused selections.

The Wildwood Pacific Bistro is the a la carte offspring to a successful Function Junction catering and café business with the same name. Co-owned by old friends and co-workers from the early days at the Crab Shack – Yee, Cindy Pelletier, Chris Skene and Paul Saulnier – the constant trips down to the village over the years have had them thinking about a more centralized extension for quite some time. It wasn’t until May 2002 though when the perfect spot became available. The Whistler Racquet Club asked the Wildwood crew if they’d be interested in using their kitchen.

"We jumped on the opportunity right away. We couldn’t believe we’d get offered such a good location," said Yee staring out over the sunny patio, the tennis courts, the pool and the mountains beyond.

The Wildwood group put their thinking caps on based on their experience in the business so far and came up with something they thought Whistler needed – low priced, high end meals providing locals with a place to go out on a weekly basis that wouldn’t break the budget.

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