by Andrew Morrison | It’s high time we provided an update on the highly anticipated Bestie at 105 East Pender St. in Chinatown. We first reported on its coming a year ago this week, and we’re happy to say that the 25 seat German-themed sausage and beer joint from Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown is well on its way. They’ve hammered down a menu of Thuringian sausages (pork) that will include brats and currywurst, plus a rotating poultry sausage and a special or two. The good folks at Oyama are making them, but execution is in the hands of chef Colin Johnson, who worked in Andrey Durbach’s kitchens for upwards of a decade. The fries will be hand-cut BC potatoes, double fried and served with a little metal pommesgabel (literally “French Fry Fork”), and the beers will be German-inspired but locally brewed (4 on tap with several others in bottle format). As you can see in one of the images above, the tapped beers can be had in 8oz, 12oz, or monstrous 24oz pours, the latter to be enjoyed from proper ceramic steins! David Stansfield, who you might know from Vancouver Urban Winery, is in charge of the tiny wine program. He has one red and one white cheap and cheerful planned for taps and tumblers, with a few supplemental bottles, all containing German varietals. The only spirit sold at Bestie will be schnapps. Because jawohl!
As far as the aesthetic goes, it’s worth remembering that Dane and Clinton come to the food trade from the design world, so they’ve considered the look as much as they have the sausages. It’s going to be on the bright side, with wooded paneling lit by high gloss white floors and white walls. Much of the seating will be convertible. A series of “booths” along the long wall facing the kitchen bar can readily be modified so that they become one large table, and above these booths will be an ever-changing canvas of wooden pegs. There are 116 holes in the wall to accommodate them, so expect to see hanging lights, magazines, and probably a jacket or two suspended above the modular booths. There’s also a sweet corner table at the front window that folds up so that sausages can be sold through the window deep into the night (hello Fortune revellers!). The rear wall will see rotating works from local artists (overseen by an obligatory cuckoo clock), and I suspect that we might hear some 1980′s Grauzone leading what I hope will be a chiefly German soundtrack. Dane and Clinton are doing nearly all the construction work themselves, with guidance from David Scott of local architecture firm Scott & Scott (recent recipients of some Cool Hunting love).
Because of its close proximity to the Scout office, I see a lot of currywurst in my future. Opening day, which can’t come soon enough, is on track for the early June.
Andrew Morrison is the editor-in-chief of Scout and BC’s Senior Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and TV shows on local food, culture and travel. He live and works in the vibrant Strathcona neighbourhood, where he also collects inexpensive things and enjoys birds, skateboards, whisky, shoes, many songs, and the smell of wood fires.
Clinton McDougall & Dane Brown, co-founders
Bestie is a friendly little sausage and beer parlour in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. Inspired by German street food, Bestie serves up a selection of finely crafted sausages, hand cut fries, tasty side salads, fresh baked pretzels, and Chinatown’s finest currywurst. We work with master butchers and urban farms, whole ingredients, and sustainably raised meats. We’ve got three curated taps of local beer, some odd German bottles, both colours of wine, and a storied selection of schnapps. Bestie is open for snappy lunches, friendly dinners, late night eats and thirsty visits anytime. Just look for the neon sausage.
Remember the fundraising video starring Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown, the pair behind Chinatown’s “Bestie” (a 25 seat sausage and beer joint at 105 East Pender due this March)? Their charming entreaty may have famously brought them over $10,000 in capital in just 5 days, but it also made possible this rather entertaining video of outtakes, which you can view with a giggle above (thanks Warren Lane Pictures).
PS. Bestie’s so-called “Magic Sausage Cards” can be purchased until midnight on December 31, 2012.
by Andrew Morrison | It’s been a while since we’ve provided an update on Chinatown’s upcoming Bestie, which we had pinned back in April as being likely for August. No such luck. According to owners Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown, the little 25 seat sausage and beer parlour slated for 105 East Pender just got its much anticipated building permit on Friday, which means they’re on track to start serving their wursts and pulling their pints at some point this January.
No big deal. Great concepts are worth waiting for, and while we continue to wait, we have the opportunity to pick up Magic Sausage Cards from Indiegogo. Brown tells me that the sale of these pre-loaded sausage gift cards (freakin’ genius) “will go a long way toward funding the details that will make Bestie special; everything from outfitting our late-night currywurst window to getting the right pretzel equipment and proper ceramic beer steins.” They’ve already raised $2,825 since this afternoon. Check out the video above – made by our good friends over at Warren Lane Pictures - for all the details and a laugh.
PS. This Christmas, give the gift of sausages in the future!
by Andrew Morrison | The area around Columbia and Pender in Chinatown is about to blow up with four or five new independent businesses from young Vancouverites. We’ll be revealing details on them all next week, but we want to start today with Bestie, an upcoming effort from Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown, if only because it has us salivating already.
Bestie is going to be a 25 seat sausage and beer restaurant in the old “Panda On Pender” location at 105 East Pender just off Columbia (look for the old “Chinese Records, Books, Tapes” sign). Their concept is simple: three sausages, three beers, three sides, three sauces, and three wines on tap. The pair are from the design world, but they do share some background in the F&B trade (eg. Clinton is formerly of Cafe Medina). Expect a looker that smells deliciously of currywurst, for sure. Opening day is set for August.