The Filipino fast-food chain beloved around the globe is gearing up to announce the opening day for its first-ever B.C. franchise, located in the heart of Vancouver at 833 Granville Street.
The first Vancouver Jollibee restaurant has been in the works for years now, and while there were some signs of life at the location over the years, progress has been slow. But over the past few weeks, passers-by have noted some serious progress at the location, and Jollibee Canada has finally listed the downtown Vancouver restaurant on its website as opening soon.
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V.I.A. reached out to Jollibee and was informed by a rep, who told us they "are working to finalize [the] opening date" for the Vancouver location. No other information was provided.
Jollibee, nicknamed the "McDonald's of the Philippines" dates back to 1978, however, its first Canadian location didn't launch until 2016, which was in Winnipeg. There are over 1,200 Jollibee franchises worldwide, including in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, the Middle East, North America, and Italy. In Canada, Jollibee operates locations in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area; Calgary; Edmonton; and Regina - and soon to be in Vancouver.
Beloved for their spaghetti, crispy chicken, burgers, and peach mango pies, Jollibee is all about American-style fast-food fused with Filipino flavours and influences. Their menu includes items with cult followings like the Yumburger and Chicken Joy, and their spaghetti features a sweeter Americanized tomato sauce with sliced hot dogs and cheese on top.
When Jollibee confirmed in 2015 their move into the Canadian market, they had ambitious plans to open hundreds of locations, focusing initially on cities with high concentrations of Filipino populations - hence their headquarters and first location in Winnipeg.
Plans for expanding to Vancouver were finalized a few years later, and the franchise claimed the Granville Street space that had previously been home to ShuRaku, a Japanese restaurant that shuttered in September 2018.
Since announcing Jollibee's first Vancouver outpost, two more locations in the region have been confirmed: a second in Vancouver at Cambie and Broadway and one in Surrey's Strawberry Hill area. So far, those locations do not appear on the Jollibee Canada website.