Save-On-Meats, RIP: Retired In Pieces

saveonmeats_signageYesterday, March 13th, the iconic heritage landmark on West Hastings Street served their loyal customers for the last time, leaving the downtown east side without its great retro lunch counter. Owner Al DesLauriers, who bought the building in 1957, is finally retiring, leaving the future of the butcher shop on the chopping block.

My BFF (Best Food Friend) Alec and I decided to have one last gas-p at the offerings of Save-On-Meats whose neon frontage has been lighting up the downtown eastside of Vancouver for over 50 years. Alec took on the classic double cheeseburger (all burgers are doubles here!) and fries for the low price of $6, while I selected a steak at Al’s butcher counter to be grilled alongside some veggies and fries. The back counter “Coffee Shop”, will grill the chosen steak for an additional $5, as long as it is under 16 ounces. Damn.

Although the butcher shop is now closed, the produce department and Coffee Shop will remain open. To enjoy some of what you may have missed, or to relive some of what you have experienced at Save On Meats, we have an impromptu video blog of our experience at We created the video blog for a tutorial seminar at a local college for media students.

We had so much fun recording and enjoying guerilla-foodie-style eats in the urban jungle, that we will be adding to the podcasts soon but with HD and a decent script!


4 Responses to “Save-On-Meats, RIP: Retired In Pieces”

  1. Posted on March 14th, 2009

    So many questions.

    How will the coffee shop run? Where will the meat come from?! Who will buy the butcher section?

    Ah…I need to go again. I’ve been there three times now, and I wish I could make the trip down there more often for a nice good burger.

  2. Posted on March 14th, 2009

    Good questions! The funny thing during our sojourn there, was that I sat with Al’s wife and she says she is too young to retire! She is in her early 50’s.

    The hope is someone will buy the butcher shop but no takers thus far. Rumour is Al is willing to donate the signage to someone who promises to care for it.

    The burgers will definitely be different here on in. If they exist at all.

  3. Posted on March 18th, 2009

    An end of an era. I ate there once and thoroughly enjoyed the experience—everything except the homeless drunk dude who wandered in and fell asleep in the seat beside me.

    I never did feel comfortable buying any meat from them however.

  4. Posted on June 12th, 2011

    I used the translator and I have learned a lot for you! Thank you a lot for sharing.

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