German street food informs Chinatown's Bestie

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      Vancouver’s Chinatown is undoubtedly becoming less and less Chinese. A recent surge in restaurants, shops, art galleries, and real estate developments point towards a revitalized neighbourhood that’s aimed more towards 20-something hipsters, and not the Chinese folk who immigrated here in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

      Bestie (105 East Pender Street), a new restaurant that opened June 17, is part of this growing trend. Owners Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown have brought currywurst—a German street food favourite consisting of sliced bratwurst sausage topped with hot curried ketchup—along with sauerkraut, pretzels, and beer to their casual Chinatown eatery.

      The restaurant has been in the works for a long time. Bestie was originally slated to open in fall 2012, but was delayed repeatedly. In 2013, the owners launched the Magic Sausage Campaign, which enabled supporters and potential diners to pre-purchase gift cards that could be used at the restaurant once opened. McDougall and Brown were able to raise $15,730, well over their goal of $10,000.

      Bestie is still waiting on its liquor license, but plan to serve three local craft beers, rare German bottled beers, wine on tap, and a selection of digestifs once approved. The restaurant, which will stay open until midnight Thursdays through Saturdays, will also have a take-out window serving a selection of the menu until 3 a.m. on weekends.

      The interior of Bestie designed by Scott&Scott Architects, is inspired by wood-built alpine houses, Bauhaus design, and 1970s-era Volkswagens.

      Meet the owners of Chinatown's new Bestie.



      Alan Layton

      Jun 19, 2013 at 9:00am

      I fear that soon Chinatown will only be the name of a district.


      Jun 19, 2013 at 10:28am

      Sounds tasty and all, but I just wonder how all this Portland-y back-to-basics, plywood and beards stuff is going to age. My guess is: rapidly.

      Alan Layton

      Jun 28, 2013 at 12:26am

      Come to think of it, it seems to me that for every German restaurant that opens in Chinatown it would only be fair to open a Chinese one in the German area of Vancouver. That could be a possible solution.