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Brad Miller and the Red Wagon

Brad Miller and the Red Wagon
by Emily Beers. 

They say, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.’

Never is this saying more true than when considering Brad Miller’s recent commitment and success at MadLab.

Some of you—in fact, most of you—have probably never met Brad. He comes in during the late mornings to do personal training with me, and in nearly five years of being with us, he has never attended a single group class.

Brad is also the owner of two very popular restaurants in East Van: The Red Wagon on Hastings and the Bistro Rouge on Powell Street. The Reg Wagon is about the be on Trial D Nation on the Food Network with host Guy Fieri this month, so keep your eyes peeled, as I might also be making a cameo appearance eating duck and onion pancakes at the Wagon.

(Sidenote: If you’re into animal meat, the pork belly and the sausage nuggets are “game changers,” as Sheppy says, for breakfast at the Red Wagon and the pate at the Bistro is one of my favourite things in the world).

But back to Brad and his commitment to MadLab: Truthfully, it has waxed and waned over the years, to say the least, but in the last six months he has been coming in two to four times a week without fail. Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, the last few months have been some of the busiest and most stressful ones for Brad from a business standpoint.

The Red Wagon just moved (Don’t worry, not too far—just two block west of its current location and Hastings and Nanaimo), and to say he has come up against obstacles is an understatement.

“There have been so many surprises, so many unexpected things have come up,” said Brad with a laugh. From dealing with the City of Vancouver to wait for permits, to realizing he needed both an architect and a mechanical engineer, to having to pay double rent for a number of months as he prepares his new Red Wagon facility, moving our favourite breakfast restaurant has been way more of a process than you’d expect.

As a result, Brad has been using MadLab as his number one stress relief.

“It’s a stress relief. I leave feeling much better to tackle the problems of the day,” Brad said. “And it’s a nice little break and gets my head out of the (restaurant) game.”

Despite the stress of being a restaurant owner, Brad said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“My entire life, I knew I wanted to own a business, and when I got into cooking I realized it was a restaurant that I’d own. And as much as the challenges keep me awake at night, I enjoy it so much. I like being the guy who makes the calls, and really enjoy interacting with my staff and motivating them.”

And recently, with MadLab in his life more consistently, he said the challenges have been much easier to handle.

“I feel like I have more energy in the day, and working out really helps reduce my anxiety,” he said.

As a result, we can take comfort in knowing our favourite breakfast restaurant—seriously, try this pork belly—is in good hands, and will be even more enticing to visit when it makes the move two blocks west on Hastings to a bigger, newer, upgraded space before the summer arrives.

If you want some promotion for your business, contact Emily and she will write about you.