Media and guests jived to music, while sipping drinks from the circular bar and sampling bits and bites of Ahi Tuna tacos, cheeseburger sliders, Panang prawn curry and Bombay butter chicken amidst lush booths, greenery and a simple open wood ceiling dotted with heat lights and chandeliers. “It’s hard to find outdoor chandeliers,” confessed Jeff Fuller, president of the Joey Restaurant Group, at the party, while explaining they were custom-made to fit the patio’s simple esthetic. “A lot of gray matter goes into the design. We try to make sure it’s not overbaked, that is has a simplicity to it,” he added.
Finding new space to build the next Joey in the city isn’t necessarily as easy. Although the next one is scheduled to open May 2011 in the Eaton Centre, some hold-ups originally delayed the process. But, with that all back on schedule Fuller has begun scouting other nearby sites to build the next unit of the Vancouver-based casual-dining chain, but says “it’s not a race to build a lot of [Joeys],” Fuller explains. “I’d like to build less and make them destination properties.”
Until then, diners can enjoy the casual elegance of Joey Don Mills and its new 120-set patio, which — after some hiccups with the city — officially opened for business last week.