What’s New | August 10th – 12th

This coming weekend will be nothing but sun, sun and more sun!

On our main stage, there will be songs sung and parties thrown! On Friday and Sunday, we will be having two different groups singing your favourite summer oldies! And on Saturday night, AM 1320 will be hosting their highly anticipated Summer Party! Be prepared for games, signing, dancing and prizes!

  • August 10th – Melody Voice of Summer 
  • August 11th – AM1320 Chinatown Night Market Summer Party
  • August 12th – Hakka Karaoke Night

This weekend, Chinatown will also be hosting the Chinatown Festival! The festival is held at the same location as the night market, and once 6 pm hits, the streets are transformed to the night market! So come down to Chinatown for the festival and stay for the night market!

Don’t forget to enter in our monthly and nightly draws!


Oyster Express (OX)

The southwest corner of Keefer and Gore had been vacant for quite a while now, which is a shame since it’s a bit of a landmark storefront with noticeably large, round windows.  Lately though, locals were fascinated by all the constructions going on inside; what’s happening?  Who’s moving in?  What kind of business will it be?

Don’t worry – signage coming soon

Today, we found out just who the new kid on the block at Keefer and Gore is: Oyster Express.

What a (nice) shock it was to open the heavy main doors and walk right into a room almost completely covered with wood, and exudes a welcoming blend of warmth, friendliness and energy.  We found owner Shawn Chesney behind the counter, with two lady assistants.  They just opened yesterday and it’s a “soft” opening, with them still putting finishing touches on the menu and general operations.  Nevertheless, locals are trickling in and snatching up what they have now to offer.

Right now there are coffee, tea, dessert, and of course, fresh oysters.

The round windows – they are still here!

Shawn is formerly of Rodney’s Oyster House, and rest assured he knows his stuff.  Our resident oyster connoisseur gave a big thumbs-up for her order of 2 Oysters of the Day, at $1.50 each.  Shawn speaks enthusiastically of the neighbourhood and his commitment to sourcing local ingredients, and the love and care that went into this place can be seen anywhere you look.

So, chowhounds, here’s what you can find now in Chinatown: old favourite Chinese restaurants and diners, new fusion bistros and cafes, pizza joint, and…an honest-to-goodness oyster bar!  This is an exciting time for Chinatown; come on down and be part of it!

Oyster Express is located at 296 Keefer St., (604) 684-3300.  Closed on Mondays.

Oysters of the Day, sourced from Desolation Bay

Someone else’s order, but we wished it were ours…

The current menu


Beijing Trading Co

To visitors not familiar with the Chinese culture, one of the mysteries of Chinatown is surely all the dried goods and herbs on display at many stores – what benefits do they have?  How does one put them to use?  Actually, what ARE most of them anyway?

One place where you may find the answers to these questions is Beijing Trading, located at the northwest corner of Pender and Columbia.  Think of it as a drugstore…only it’s stocked with traditional Chinese medicinal ingredients.  In fact, Beijing Trading is so well stocked, they even have a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner on site!

Here’s a quick Q&A with the owner of Beijing Trading, Mr. Albert Tsang:

Mr. Albert Tsang

(Psssst…Mr. Tsang was the torch bearer for the Chinatown stretch at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics)

How long has Beijing Trading been around?

It has been at this location since 1986.

What can visitors find at your store?

Traditional Chinese medicinal ingredients, herbs and tea; those are good for fortifying your constitution and improving your health.

What’s the best thing about Vancouver’s Chinatown?

Our Chinatown attracts not only the Chinese community, but visitors and residents of many different cultural backgrounds.  Seeing them here to shop and learn about Chinese culture is very satisfying.

How do you feel about being the Olympic torch bearer?

The proud torch bearer*

I felt and still feel very happy to have the opportunity to represent Chinatown.  It’s also a good topic of conversation for people that know me, but otherwise I don’t make too big a deal out of it.

What are your hopes for Chinatown?

I would like to see more people and tourists come down here and enjoy what we have to offer.  Also, one day, I’d also like to see a covered venue where events and markets can be held because Vancouver rains all the time!

Here are some goodies that may be found at Beijing Trading:

Beijing Trading Co. Ltd.  89 E. Pender Street.  (604) 684-3563

Registered TCM practitioner is Mr. Jia-xian Lu, B.M.

Check out below for some more pictures of Mr. Tsang carrying the torch!

*Photo courtesy of @YVRChinatown – please follow on twitter!