Restaurant changes gears

White Rock fine dining restaurant Pearl on the Rock will undergo a major transformation when it closes Sunday and reopens four days later as Pearl Urban Bistro.

“We’re getting out of fine dining,” said Nicholas Popoff, who owns the Marine Drive establishment with wife Angela.

“It’s not going to be a white-table-cloth restaurant anymore.”

The restaurant’s new concept will include vibrant lounge music, an updated bar with a TV and elevated, ocean-view seating to one side.

“It will be a little bit more appeasing to a bigger demographic of people,” Popoff said, noting the menu’s style will also change. “The food is going to be a little bit more relaxed, but the quality of the products will continue to be there.”

Popoff said the change is in response to the significant economic hit the fine-dining industry has taken.

“Pearl has been perceived as a special-occasion restaurant. As much as it pains us to say, there’s just not enough of those special occasions out there,” Popoff said. “We’re not as busy as we’d like to be.

“The focus and attention on the level of hospitality and food will still remain. We’re just going to loosen it up a little bit and have a lot more fun.”