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Burger joint coming to River Market

Classic drive-in style burgers are being added to the menu at the River Market - and lots of them.

Classic drive-in style burgers are being added to the menu at the River Market - and lots of them.

Wally's Burgers, a longtime East Vancouver burger joint that used to operate a drive-in on Kingsway and now has a restaurant at 49th Avenue and Elliott Street, is aiming to open in the River Market's food hall this spring.

"We plan to be open there on May 1," said owner Gord Bemister.

"It's going to be another Wally's location, just like the Vancouver store."

Wally's Burgers is somewhat famous in the Lower Mainland for its selection of burgers, all of which will served in New West.

"Our most famous hamburger is the chuckwagon. We have all the classics as well - the beefy boy, the combo burger, which is the burger with a wiener on top. We have 19 burgers on our menu," Bemister said.

Bemister said he had been keeping an eye on the improvements made to the River Market and the new tenants moving in, and the timing was right to open a new location.

"We're really looking forward to being there. We think it's a good project. We like what they're doing there. We like the mix of other small businesses in the market. I think it will come alive again like it did 10 to 15 years ago."

Loyal customers at the Vancouver location are reacting well to the news, Bemister said, as many of them come from outside the city to get a burger.

Residents will be able to get a taste of what Wally's Burgers offers when Bemister brings a portable barbecue to the market to serve up his restaurant's hotdogs during Royal City Farmers Market days at River Market.

The announcement is also a milestone for the River Market itself, according to community services manager Julie Ramirez.

"The food hall is full, finally," Ramirez said.

The building now just has two vacancies, one of which should be filled by June or July, Ramirez said.


After much hype and a busy couple of months, Wild Rice held its grand opening on Jan. 7, but it was feeding the city's needy that was on owner Andrew Wong's mind.

"When all was said and done, we raised $550 for the food bank. . We weren't militant at the door with regards to the donations because it was an optional thing, but I found that people in the community were very good about just handing it over," Wong said.

The restaurant is also taking Mondays, the one night a week that it is closed, to offer cooking classes with chef Todd Bright. This coming Monday's class is vegan dim sum. To sign up or get more info, email [email protected].

Lastly, the restaurant will also be marking Chinese New Year with special Year of the Dragon platters including locally and sustainably sourced Dungeness crab, lingcod and albacore tuna.


Those with an interest in business in the downtown area should mark Tuesday, Feb. 7 on their calendars.

The Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Association is holding its annual general meeting at 6 p.m. that night at the Columbia Theatre.

"It's going to be an awesome night," said Oana Frentoni, BIA administrative assistant. "The city council and mayor will be in attendance."

Part of the agenda will be the election of new BIA board members. About 10 positions are open, Frentoni said.


The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce is extending the deadline for nominations for two of its annual awards.

Nominations for the Bernie Legge Cultural Award, which recognizes excellence, dedication and commitment to the arts in New West, and the Citizen of the Year award, which recognizes an outstanding volunteer for time spent in sports and recreation, cultural activities, youth or senior services fundraising and the disadvantaged, are now being taken until Feb. 29.

Nominations are open to the whole public - not just chamber members.

For information on nominating someone, contact nwcc@newwest

Do you have an item for Movers & Shakers? Send ideas from the business community to Brent Richter, brichter@royalcityrecord. com. You can also follow Brent on Twitter, @BrentRichter.