Monday, January 16, 2012

Gastown's Gamble in Love

This morning I discovered through Fred Lee's Twitter feed, a new local reality series called Gastown Gamble. It will air Wednesdays on OWN and gives me one more reason to break down and purchase a new flat screen television. Yes - I still own a cube television tucked away in an armoire. But I digress. Gastown Gamble is the story of how "loud and shiny" Mark Brand and his wife Nico, begin to undertake the revitalization and renewal of the Vancouver institution - Save On Meats, which, after-all, had closed it's iconic doors in March of 2009 having served this city for over fifty years.

So what's the fuss all about? Well, for one thing, hard-working, restauranteur Mark Brand, (he is a partner in Vancouver's coolest places to hang and eat - Boneta, The Diamond and Sea Monstr Sushi) and his wife Nico, are awesome.

And the other thing? Ground zero happens to be the sketchy location of what we refer to as the Lower Eastside - not the happiest place on the planet, but in the past few years, this portion of YVR is becoming more approachable and getting a better wrap because of the care and attention from cool, caring people who believe in our city. It's a fabulous story and beats the crap out of watching another episode of Survivor (that's just so passe).

The undertaking of the transformation was huge. I mean when you think of this...

Going to this...
Well that's pretty wonderful.

And don't we just love the idea of the young couple giving it a go - not owning a fancy house or a car, but believing in their business that stands right smack in the middle of where no dreams seem to come true - the Eastside. So that might be changing too. There is something to be said of the compassionate and passionate sentiments of Mark Brand -

Nico and I don’t own a home or a car. We own our business and we’re totally comfortable with that. We’re peeling it back and being a positive force in the community.”

Another very cool thing: the Brands started is a meal program in the neighbourhood - 600 some odd meals a day are given to nourish at-risk people! That's serving the community, literally. Way to go.

All this is wonderful inspiration is being produced by Vancouver-based television company, Lark Productions. You just can feel the momentum of Vancouver start to percolate can't you?

Read more on Scout (plus Scout has fantastic photographs for their set)

43 West Hastings Street
Open daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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