What's the oldest Indian restaurant in Vancouver?

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      These days, it's not unusual to see dining establishments close within the first one to three years of operation.

      So it's worth celebrating those that manage to beat the odds and keep serving customers for decades.

      Yesterday, I stopped by one such place, India Gate Restaurant (616 Robson Street), for a delicious lunch of butter chicken and dal tarka.

      This eatery has been a fixture in downtown Vancouver for what seems like forever. So I asked the man in charge how long it had been in business.

      He replied "40 years".

      That made me wonder if India Gate, which opened in 1978, was Vancouver's oldest Indian restaurant.

      One of my favourites, Raga Restaurant (1177 West Broadway), wasn't launched until 1981. Sitar (6 Powell Street) didn't open until 1983.

      But it turns out that they were all beaten by the Pabla family-owned Himalaya Restaurant (6587 Main Street), which celebrated its 40th birthday in 2016.

      As far as I can tell, it appears to be the oldest Indian dining establishment in Vancouver (though I'm happy to be corrected if anyone points out another place that's been in business longer than that).

      Next, I started to wonder what might be the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the region.

      Naturally, I guessed it was White Spot, which was launched by famed entrepreneur Nat Bailey at Granville and West 67th Avenue in 1928.

      I was wrong. In fact, it's surpassed by the legendary Tomahawk, which opened its doors in 1926.

      Of course, this is nothing compared to some European food establishments that have been around for centuries.

      The beloved Parisian chocolaterie, À la Mère de Famille, for example, opened in 1761, making it more than 250 years old.

      Now that's real success!

      À la Mère de Famille has been in business since 1761.
      Charlie Smith

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