This Acclaimed Gastown Restaurant Will Be Remembered as One of the Best of Its Generation

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.

  • Frontage | Wildebeest
  • The bar | Wildebeest
  • The bar | Wildebeest
  • East Side Smash | Wildebeest
  • Front stand up | Wildebeest
  • 6 pack for the kitchen | Wildebeest
  • Bardstown Breakfast - bacon-infused bourbon, aromatic bitters, maple syrup, mezcal | Wildebeest
  • Hostess stand | Wildebeest
  • Smoked castelvetrano olives | Wildebeest
  • Bar detail | Wildebeest
  • Breads with pork, yogurt, and chicken butters | Wildebeest
  • Dining room facing open kitchen | Wildebeest
  • Pork croquettes with housemade ketchup | Wildebeest
  • From rear | Wildebeest
  • Heirloom radishes, yogurt, beet sorbet, malt crunch | Wildebeest
  • Rear | Wildebeest
  • Menu | Wildebeest
  • Honey cured steelhead with beets, sorrel, dill
  • Scarfing cotechino | Wildebeest
  • Wildebeest
  • Strawberries and meringue | Wildebeest
  • Front stand up | Wildebeest
  • Duo of chicken | Wildebeest
  • Waist | Wildebeest
  • Duo of chicken | Wildebeest
  • Wildebeest
  • Cotechino with flageolet cassoulet | Wildebeest
  • Bar | Wildebeest
  • Opening day at Wildebeest
  • Kholrabi spring roll, oyster emulsion, wild herbs | Wildebeest
  • Opening day at Wildebeest on West Hastings
  • Roasted bone marrow, potato and parsley salad, grilled bread | Wildebeest
  • Matches | Wildebeest
  • Hemingway daiquiri  | Wildebeest
  • 48hr cooked Angus short rib, smoked salt, hay-infused jus | Wildebeest
  • Wildebeest
  • Bar | Wildebeest
  • Wildebeest
  • Bar | Wildebeest
  • Bar | Wildebeest
  • Bar | Wildebeest
  • Wildebeest


There are 12 comments

  1. Wildebeest will always be remembered by me. My wife and I lived across the street and we were eagerly awaiting its opening, unfortunately she lost her fight to depression on the same day they opened. Ended up going a few days later along with her parents and we had a fantastic meal in her honour. Been there countless times over the years and always felt her there with me. I was sad to see it close but perhaps it’s a sign that I should move on too, the memories will remain forever.

  2. End of an era. So many great people and memories in this beautiful space. Thank you James and Josh ❤️

  3. Damn, that’s sad for Vancouver and that block. With the stolen goods market at 58w hasting and the outdoor smoking overdose site being moved to pender and abbott, that area is getting more rough.

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