I sat down with Malcolm Eric Hassin to find out more about the story behind SBC Restaurant.
What was the inspiration for SBC?
Andrew Turner (Malcolm’s partner in the business and friend) was involved in the neighbourhood and had a gallery across the street from the Rickshaw on Hastings. He got a hold of the old Smilin Buddha Cabaret and wanted to make some sort of cool space. He asked Malcolm what his dream job was, to which he responded: a skateshop restaurant.
What about this neighbourhood?
It’s all been a learning experience. The history of the space that we now have and the story of the neighbourhood. No one is fake down here. No one has anything to hide. You are able to come as you are. The people in this community look out for one another like no where else. Do you have other employees or volunteers besides you and Andrew? We have a door guy and a sound guy that are here during live shows. We have a number of volunteers that work to skate.
Favourite thing about the neighbourhood?
The community aspect of the neighbourhood is so eye-opening. I know more people here than I do on my home street. The amount of love is amazing for being the poorest postal code in Canada.
What makes SBC Restaurant unique?
We’re not set up to make money. We’re here to affect positive change in the neighbourhood. We built this with blood, sweat, and tears, and people recognize that! I used to work in mental health and youth homes. It was draining. We wanted to create this positive space where people could use it as an outlet. That’s what we’re here for.
SBC Restaurant is open Tuesday through Friday from 2-10pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-12am. The restaurant is open to all ages and is licenced (no minors for most weekend music events). Stop by 109 E Hastings and sample some of the legendary banana bread and skate on the largest indoor half pipe in BC, assembled with other infamous salvaged ramps in BC. You can purchase skateboard equipment, t-shirts and sweatshirts. There is always new art on the wall, and great concerts on the weekends. Check out upcoming events and more at sbcrestaurant.ca.