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'We wanted to carry on the legacy': New Vancouver donut shop inspired by grandparents and nostalgic Americana

"They had a quaint little donut shop."
Right: Mike McBean's grandparents in Las Vegas. Left McBean's new business, a donut shop inspired by his grandparents' store in Las Vegas, opens soon.

A new donut shop is on Vancouver's horizon.

Vegas Donuts will be opening before the end of March co-owner Mike McBean tells V.I.A., serving "groundbreaking and dynamic" donuts inspired by Sin City during its Elvis and Frank Sinatra era of the 1960s.

The new shop (and, eventually, McBean hopes, several shops) was inspired by his grandparents' shop in Vegas in the 1960s; McBean and his brother, Steve, were told stories about the shop as kids, though they never got to visit it in person.

"They had a quaint little donut shop," he says, adding that they made traditional donuts.

The brothers, who've been starting businesses in Vancouver since they were children in the 1970s, decided for their latest venture to bring that family spirit into the mix.

"My grandparents are no longer around; we wanted to carry on the legacy," he says.

Along with the family aspect, there will be plenty of nostalgia and Americana, with an interior reminiscent of bright, colourful diners in the 1960s, poker chip coupons, and a big Vegas sign out on Knight Street. They'll also be going retro for the opening.

"When Elvis was in Vegas he loved his donuts," McBean says. "He will be visiting us to give out free donuts when we're opening."

New donuts on the block

While Vancouver has a competitive donut scene, McBean says he and his brother aim to be the number one donut shop in the city.

The actual donuts will be in three categories: classic, fancy, and stuffed. For the stuffed style, they're taking inspiration from a Korean style where the donut, stuffed with cream, is served in a cup a bit like a cupcake. Vegas Donuts will have fierce competition; Mello, named Canada's top pick for donuts last spring, has two Vancouver locations and specializes in cream-filled Korean brioche donuts. 

Min-dogs coming soon

Another classic American food will be launched out of Vegas Donuts at a later date, McBean says, with what he's calling Manhattan Minidogs. 

"They're a smaller hot dog, you get two instead of one;" McBean says. "And there'll be different toppings from around the city of New York." 

Vegas Donuts will open up at 4003 Knight St. 

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