SURREY — The Strawberry Hill retail complex at the corner of Scott Road and 72nd Avenue is losing another major tenant.
The Earls Kitchen + Bar restaurant there will close on March 27, upon the end of its lease, as operators of the chain “look for a new location in the area that meets our new design and development goals.”
The closure was announced by the company on Wednesday (March 2); restaurant staff were told the news several weeks ago.
“All staff and management who wish to, will be relocated to our other locations as well as have the opportunity to travel with the company as we open the three new locations this year (jn Calgary, Orlando and Boston),” the company said in a news release.
A Chapters store, along with an adjacent Starbucks coffee shop, recently closed in the same Strawberry Hill complex, which is owned and managed by Rio Can, a Toronto-based company.
The Now has learned that a Home Sense store will open later this year in the former Chapters space, next to Winners, along with a Party City store.
Earls spokesperson Cate Simpson said the design of the complex no longer suits the restaurant, which has been located there since May 1996.
“The parking has never been an issue for us, because it’s free parking, which is always lovely for a restaurant to have,” Simpson told the Now.
“The development has not done any major improvements so we’re looking for a better looking design and higher density which reflects our new branding, which is very design-forward.”
The chain is currently looking to open in another restaurant elsewhere in Surrey or White Rock, she added.
“We’re certainly very sad to leave (Strawberry Hill), because we’re been at that location for a long time, and we have some very regular guests at that restaurant,” Simpson said.
“We don’t normally put out a press release like this, in the odd occasion that we close a restaurant, but in this case we wanted to do it because we have so many regular guests at that restaurant. We wanted to let those people know, not have them find closed doors, and we also wanted (staff) an opportunity to say goodbye to them, and be told where staff will be going, to our other locations.”
Last week, a new Walmart Canada store opened in Scottsdale Centre, kitty-corner to the Earls restaurant, which js located across a courtyard from Spice 72 Indian restaurant.