VANCOUVER -- Until Wednesday night, Michael Bowers had never experienced the full force of the paparazzi glare - nor the unwavering determination of star-struck young women on the hunt for the world's hottest vampire.
But the manager at Glowbal Grill and Satay got a hearty taste of both when Robert Pattinson - star of the blockbuster film Twilight - showed up at the Yaletown eatery to celebrate his 23rd birthday, and thrust the restaurant into the international spotlight.
The phone rang all day Wednesday with calls from fans and celebrity media who knew that Mr. Pattinson has been frequenting Glowbal since he began shooting the film's sequel, New Moon, in Vancouver a couple of months ago.
Young women with copies of the Twilight books conveniently tucked into their purses sat in the restaurant, trying to look nonchalant as paparazzi circled outside for hours.
"They weren't fooling anybody," said Mr. Bowers, adding that many of the photographers hid their cameras and just casually strolled around the front and rear entrance of the Mainland Street grill. "It was quite comical."
Then when Mr. Pattinson's people called at around 9 p.m. to reserve a table, Mr. Bowers knew he was in for quite the night.
Shortly after arriving at the sleek, L.A.-style eatery, the vampire star graciously signed autographs and chatted with fans and allowed them to snap photos before he was led to a private table where he dined with friends and family.
But somebody reportedly sent out a message on Twitter that gave away Mr. Pattinson's location, and before long Mr. Bowers went from being a restaurant manager to a celebrity handler trying to clear a path through the crowd of adoring young women and paparazzi to a waiting taxi.
"We tried to make a decoy at the back, but we rushed him out the front and the cameras were just flashing like crazy. I couldn't see a thing," Mr. Bowers said with a laugh. "It was exciting, but I'm not used to it. I'm a small-town boy from Trenton, Ont."
Before getting into the cab, Mr. Pattinson shot a few more photos with fans - including two girls who travelled all the way from Nashville to catch a glimpse of the heartthrob and had been scouring the city for a week. "They flew up because they knew it was his birthday," Mr. Bowers said. "They were overjoyed."
But the frenzy didn't end there. Ever since that night, the restaurant has been fielding dozens of calls from entertainment reporters who want to know exactly what they ate (Kobe meatballs, lamb, steak), what they drank (champagne cocktails) and whom they were with (the New Moon cast, including co-star Kristen Stewart, and Mr. Pattinson's parents).
And now the restaurant's name is popping up on celebrity websites around the globe, including Perez Hilton, Us Weekly and People.
"We're becoming very well known," said Glowbal VIP concierge and publicist Rochelle Clarke, whose phone began ringing at 7 a.m. Thursday and hasn't stopped. "It's definitely got the buzz around the city at the moment."