Plant-based New Westminster restaurant Amaranthus is closing forever

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate New Westminster businesses as another one is closing down forever.

Amaranthus, a plant-based restaurant specializing in vegan and vegetarian cuisine in New Westminster, will be closing on Sept. 6, according to a statement.

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Opened by Alejandro Diaz in April 2019, the restaurant, along with other restaurants in the province, was forced to suspend dine-in service during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restaurant reopened for dine-in service in June, but the effects of the pandemic continued to be felt leading to the decision to close the restaurant permanently, said Diaz. Diners are encouraged to stop by for one last meal before the restaurant closes for good.

“It was a difficult decision to close Amaranthus, but a necessary one given the circumstances,” said Diaz. “I would like to thank our employees, suppliers and customers for all of the support that they have given us.”

Amaranthus employees have been reassigned to new positions at el Santo, the contemporary Mexican restaurant in New Westminster also owned by Diaz.

el Santo recently brought back its brunch and happy hour times – complete with new menu items. Those times had remained closed during the day so that it could act as a temporary kitchen for the Lookout Housing and Health Society.

el Santo
Alejandro Diaz, owner of el Santo. - File

“It’s not just businesses that have had a hard time adapting to the pandemic, many non-profits are also finding it challenging to offer their preferred level of service,” said Diaz. “We are happy to have been able to help the Lookout Housing and Health Society when they needed it and now are looking forward to welcoming guests back in for brunch and happy hour.”

el Santo offers brunch from Friday to Sunday between 11:30 am and 3 pm while happy hour takes place every weekday from 4 pm to 5:30 pm. New items on the brunch menu include:

  • Tortas ahogadas (bolillo bread filled with your choice of shortribs or potatoes along with avocado, onion and radish, drenched in salsa de árbol)
  • Quesadillas con huitlacoche (Homemade tortillas filled with Oaxaca cheese and huitlacoche – a delicacy commonly referred to as the Mexican truffle)
  • Molletes con alce (Sliced bolillo bread covered with white beans, seared elk, charred tomato and onion salsa and manchego cheese with a fried egg)

el Santo’s partnership with the Lookout Housing and Health Society saw the restaurant make three meals a day for 91 residents of the society’s housing facilities in New Westminster.

Normally, the society would have made these meals in their on-site kitchen, but new physical distancing regulations forced it to close temporarily until it could adapt its space to meet the new requirements. el Santo was able to step in and act as a temporary kitchen until these upgrades were completed.

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