I had the opportunity to be invited to Corus Entertainment for an exclusive pre-screening of "GasTown Gamble" with Mark Brand. Mark Brand is one of the main characters in this new series premiere that will be shown tonight on the Oprah Winfrey Network at 9:30pmET and repeats at 11pm on Friday. If you are on the Rogers network that would be channel 72.
Mark Brand is owner and partner of Mark Brand Inc. empire, he is one of Vancouver's most prolific and successful independent restaurateurs. Mark owns and operates 7 businesses including a clothing line. You can find more about it here at Mark Brand
The premise of this show is Mark and his wife take a gamble on resuscitating Vancouver's iconic "Save-On-Meats" butchershop/restaurant in one of Vancouver poorest neighbourhoods. He hopes to revitalize the Vancouver Eastside neighbourhood by involving the community. The cast of characters are introduced in the first episode. I think the success of the show will be based on these characters if you watch tonight. I watched the 1st episode and already want to watch the next one to see how the witty and interesting characters develop. One character that peeked my interest is Football Mike.
Save On Meats
Meeting Mark Brand in person and listening to a Q/A after the screening tells me that this guy is really down to earth and someone that most of us can relate to. He's a cool dude doing his thing and I found that enticing of his character. He is successful with his business but for him to take on this project with Save On Meats is like a challenge and leap of faith for him. He truly has the interest of all those involved in the community and is doing social good with social enterprise. Below is a snippet of the Q/A. The question is how is he going to attract customers to his butcher shop/restaurant.
Overall, the dynamics of the Mark and his wife and the interesting characters make for an intriguing concept. Trying to run a restaurant/butcher shop with limited experience and in one of the poorest neighbourhoods laced with drug addicts and homeless make for great tv watching with a social spin. Here's a sneek preview GasTownGamble