British Columbia

Vancouver's family-run India Gate Restaurant packing up after 41 years in business

India Gate Restaurant, a well-loved family-run staple in downtown Vancouver, is packing up after more than four decades in business.

A new highrise is slated to replace the downtown restaurant

Richhpal Gupta, right, started India Gate in 1978 and his son, Gurmeet Gupta, left, now helps with the restaurant. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

India Gate Restaurant, a well-loved family-run staple in downtown Vancouver, is packing up after more than four decades in business.

The building where the restaurant is located has stood on the corner of Robson and Seymour streets for over a hundred years.

A development application was filed last month to build a 13-story office building there instead.

"The new landlord gave us a letter [stating] that in the end of July 2019, we have to vacate this place," said restaurant owner Richhpal Gupta.

"When I got the letter, my family and myself didn't feel good. After 41 years of running a business, all at once someone says, 'move out.' You don't know how to feel."

India Gate will have to move out this July. (India Gate Restaurant/Instagram)

Gupta, who grew up in Mumbai, India, started the restaurant soon after immigrating to Canada and has been serving northern Indian cuisine to Vancouverites since 1978. His son, wife and brother-in-law also work at the restaurant.

Last April, when the restaurant was celebrating its 40th anniversary, the family mentioned its concerns about being pushed out due to rising costs in the city. A year later, those worries are coming true.  

Gurmeet Gupta, the son who works at India Gate, said the family is hoping to find a new location for the restaurant but doubts it will be in Vancouver.  

"We're looking," he said. "But nothing is for sure."

If they find a new location, he says it will mostly likely be in one of the neighbouring municipalities like Burnaby. 

CBC reached out to the development company building the new tower but has not heard back.

The one-level retail building that's being torn down to build a highrise is also home to a bike shop, a picture-framing and art gallery, a cannabis dispensary and a Red Burrito chain.  

With files from Matthew Humphrey and The Early Edition

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