The ever-evolving Restaurant Graveyard series looks back at the countless, long-shuttered establishments that helped to propel Vancouver’s food and drink forward. Full A-Z with maps and photos here. May they never be forgotten!
Many hoped the woody, award-winning Wildebeest restaurant would reopen for limited sit-down service or takeout after Covid-19’s first wave hit in the Spring of 2020, but owners James Iranzad and Josh Pape kept it shuttered, using the voluminous space as a commissary instead. Sadly, they will be exiting the space entirely this summer, which is to say Wildebeest is officially no more. It was certainly an interesting eight and a half-year run for the casual fine dining establishment that got us hooked on smoked Castelvetrano olives and inspired the occasional, highly indulgent bone luge. The critically acclaimed restaurant will be remembered as one of the more elevated and enjoyably unpredictable dining experiences in Vancouver, a testament to an always deft team of well-trained front-of-house hands and a succession of young, highly creative and inspired chefs (eg. David Gunawan, Wesley Young, Ian McHale). Wildebeest will be missed most of all as a gourmand hangout and hospitality industry hideout, its cool quotient calculated by dim lighting, skilled bartenders, thoughtful collaborations, smooth soundtrack, and always interesting line-up of gastronomical special events. The city – and most immediately this particular block of West Hastings – is so much the lesser for the loss.