Downlow Smash: Burger pop-up gets permanent Vancouver address


It’s a new chapter in burger history in Vancouver, as the owners of the Downlow Chicken Shack prep to shift their weekly burger pop-up to a full-time concept at a permanent Vancouver address.


Downlow Smash, as it’s now called, will move into The American on Main Street in early September. (The Monday burger pop-up at the DL Chicken Shack wrapped up with their final instalment this week.)

The burgers are made in the “smash” method, which is about how they’re cooked, not slang for how they’re eaten. Each dry-aged ground beef patty – made with Two Rivers Meats – is “smashed” during cooking, to lock in the flavour and a nice crust. Buns, like at the Chicken Shack, come from Livia Sweets.

Downlow Smash shared their planned menu with us:

Merch (Backyard)
Americana (aka the “Big Mac”)
Not in Kansas (BBQ Sauce)
Fat Boy (Winnipeg Classic)
South of the Border (Tex-Mex)
Faux-Pho (Banh Mi)
Veggie or Vegan Burger
Caesar Salad
Wedge Salad
Chopped Beef Salad
House-smoked Onion Rings

Chili Cheese Fries
Classic Fries

Loaded Fries (with a smashed beef patty)

“We are excited to have finally found a home for Downlow Smash,” says co-owner Doug Stephen via email, who updated the Downlow Burgers name to Downlow Smash to focus attention on its signature burger making methods.

“We had been searching for a location for a little while, but when The American brought the idea to the table, everything just aligned itself. The American is a hot spot for sports games, pre and post concerts, and more. We can’t wait introduce even more people to our smash burgers.”

The American has actually been a burger destination for a couple of years now, serving as the location for Vancouver chef Robert Belcham (Campagnolo, Popina) and his Monarch Burger operation. No word yet on when Monarch will wind down at The American, or if they plan to shift their operation elsewhere.

Downlow Smash will be at The American at 926 Main Street in Vancouver. Follow @downlowsmash and @theamericanvancouver for updates.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom