Gastown Gamble is a new half-hour docu-series following Vancouver entrepreneur and restaurateur Mark Brand and his wife Nico as they take on their riskiest challenge yet – resurrecting the historic Save-On-Meats building in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside. 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. Produced by Lark Productions in association with OWN (Canada), this series premieres Wednesday, January 18 at 9:30 p.m. and repeats Fridays at 11 p.m.
In the premiere episode, Mark and his team are under the wire with only one day to go until they open their doors to the public, and Save-On-Meats has yet to pass a building inspection. Mark races against the clock to complete last minute repairs to the elevator, smoke alarms and emergency lighting, while Nico, who has no previous experience as a butcher, rushes to prepare the unfinished butcher shop. With eight hours to get $25,000 worth of meat prepped, sliced and ready to sell, will they finish? And will they pass the inspection in time for their grand opening?