EXP Restaurant & Bar has been operating since late 2012 and sadly, by the time I visit this place again, it will be closed. I came across this article about the problems of keeping such operations afloat in a tough as nails city core. I can only hope and let readers know that if the Rio Theatre can be saved by Deadpool himself, is there hope for EXP? Sadly, no.
Their latest Facebook post made the news of closing official. I’m posting this article in memoriam and can only hope a future exists in another space. I get the feeling the owners and operators are not going down easy. They may have an alternate plan in the works but do not want to jinx the future.
Reprinted (in part) from otakunoculture.com:
On subsequent visits, their Triforce Burger with a spinach and leek salad is my go to meal! The side stole the show, and Zelda might not be thrilled with my statement. Link (in reference to the classic cartoon show) would eat anything in front of him, and I was certainly hungry after a stroll around Gastown. The combination of beef with chicken leaned towards the latter being more prominent. The power of the crispy chrysalis from the bacon certainly manifested with tangy notes from the roasted garlic flavoured mayo.
The beef, emblazoned with the Triforce logo, could have benefited from more of a charcoal flavour. I spoiled myself over the summer with hardwood briquettes to cook most of my meats. I missed that homestyle flavour over what’s made over a flame-licked grill.
Overall, the meal was delectable. But was it fitting for royalty, as the symbol from the Legend of Zelda games is meant to represent? Certainly! Although I think the high court may well prefer turkey over swine. Mind you, I’m still waiting for some operation to produce a turducken burger. Now that would represent a true Triforce dish when the three types of meat are stuffed into one another than putting bacon, beef and pork together sandwiched into a bun.
This operation has a rewards card so returning customers can earn special bonuses (i.e. discounts). I could have applied for one, but I’m not in Vancouver that often. The Summer and Autumn season is when I’m here.
While this establishment hosts many game nights, ranging from classic console tournaments to battle royales with games like Mass Effect, the commute from an island city to the mainland is killer. For locals, this place is worth coming back to time and time again. For visitors, it’s certainly worth a look. The service is friendly and the smiles are great. Here, I’m sure the staff will get to know your name since there’s plenty of multiplayer and single dish dining options to feast on and theme nights to get one’s full video game nerdary on. It’s Unreal!
If electronic games are not your thing, a small selection of board/pen and paper options exists, along with proper table space to eat and play on. I figure the space can hold about 30 or so customers (including being at the bar). But for very busy nights, reservations are definitely required. But for those who just want to stop by for a drink the bar is well stocked. If an individual wants to venture to a game station for a few rounds of Street Fighter, they can do so. The PCs, the keyboards and mice are splashproof so no equipment gets damaged.
Although I’m not very skilled at playing these latest games, to see others hard at work had me intrigued. While I can handle certain food eat-offs easily, playing to win in the video-game front is and always will be a tougher challenge.
4 Blokes out of 5