claudia kwan/for metro vancouver
808 Beatty (and Robson)
Open daily 3 p.m.–midnight
Dinner for two, including tax, tip, and drinks: $120
*** 1/2 (out of 5)
With a menu that encompasses classic steakhouse cuisine and regional and Asian influences, and all the required trappings of a sports bar these days (leather booths, dark wood everywhere, astoundingly massive projector screen), Players Chophouse seems designed to appeal to the masses who regularly throng Beatty Street for events at GM and B.C. Place.
We get two decent crab cakes and mixed greens to start, before launching full on into a ribeye steak and 14 ounces of slightly bland prime rib with a very good Yorkshire pudding. Scalloped cheesy potatoes are pure indulgence, and leave us too full to be tempted by dessert.
Prices are in line with what you would find at many other downtown restaurants. The music is at a decent volume and is a cut above the bass-heavy crap that dominates many a conversation in other joints, and the front of house staff, although they could do with a little refining, are eager to please.
So the question is where are the customers at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night? When we arrive, there are only six customers inside this cavernous space, and a few more scattered outside on the patio. Granted, the restaurant is fairly new, but in this type of joint, atmosphere is everything. There’s simply no energy in the room, and that’s deadly to an establishment trying to make it in ultra-competitive Vancouver.
Hopefully the busy nights will be enough to sustain the slow times, but sports fans are notoriously fickle in Vancouver.