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Suspected arson fire forces temporary closure of one of Vancouver's oldest restaurants

The 80-year-old diner known for its all-day breakfast and burgers is recovering after a fire

A suspected arson fire has forced one of the city's most enduring restaurants to temporarily close down.

The Ovaltine Cafe, located at 251 E Hastings St, announced the temporary closure Sunday (May 28) on its Instagram stories.

"This morning we had an arson fire in the back of the restaurant and it resulted in fire and smoke damage throughout the whole place," describe operators.

Owners add the next steps will be for them to "have repairs done, and to make sure everything is back to a safe working and dining environment."

V.I.A. has reached out to the Vancouver Police Department and the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service for details regarding the fire and arson investigation.

DTES diner a beacon for locals for 80 years

The Ovaltine has been a beacon for the locals of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Steps from Main Street on Hastings, the Ovaltine - known by many for its striking neon signage, if nothing else - opened in 1942, and has remained a stalwart in the neighbourhood through decades of evolution.

A classic greasy spoon - all-day breakfast, burgers and fries, pots of coffee sizzling on the burner - Ovaltine Cafe was granted a new lease on life in 2014 when mother-daughter duo Grace and Rachel Chen took over ownership of the space. 

In 2018, a UK publication named The Ovaltine one of the Top 50 Cafes on Earth, lauding the unlikely tourist destination for offering a window on the world. 

Typically, the Ovaltine Cafe is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers dine-in and delivery from third-party apps.




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