If you live in Vancouver then you know about the iconic Save-On-Meats building. If you don’t, then you haven’t lived here long enough or never ventured into the downtrodden streets of the DTES. The building was in dire need of some TLC, enter Mark Brand. This past year he not only saved it, it’s back up and running and has once again become a neighbourhood destination for everyone.
The revival of Save-On-Meats didn’t happen over night. Gastown Gamble is a new half-hour docu-series following Vancouver entrepreneur and restaurateur Mark Brand and his wife Nico as they look to revive the historic Save-On-Meats building in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
In bringing the 55-year-old restaurant and butcher shop back to life, Mark and Nico hope to achieve their ultimate goal of revitalizing this challenged neighbourhood. Situated in the heart of Canada’s poorest urban postal code with a population affected by mental health illness and addiction, Save-On-Meats is hardly desirable, but if anyone is up for the job of breathing life back into this historical building, it’s Mark and Nico, who understand the restaurant business and are known for some of the top eateries in the city. Not only do they want to do justice to the landmark business, but they’re also learning the ropes of running a butcher shop and opening a diner while expanding the business to include a commissary, incubator, laundry and apiary.
Check out the trailer here.
This city needs more people like Mark Brand. He doesn’t just talk about doing something, he actually put his money where his mouth is. That is a lesson many so called Vancouverites can learn from. A city is only as good as the people that invest in it. Whether that investment come from time, money or other means. It’s up to us as Vancouverites to make this the best city possible.
Image: Corus Entertainment