Iconic Gastown restaurant rolling back prices to 1970 for 50th anniversary

That means $1.75 spaghetti combos!

For five decades now, visitors and locals alike in Vancouver have tucked into plates of pasta at Gastown's Old Spaghetti Factory.

To celebrate a half-century of serving up spaghetti and more here, the restaurant will offer its original 1970 menu — with 1970 prices — for one day only.

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The Old Spaghetti Factory in Vancouver will mark its 50th anniversary on March 3. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Gastown restaurant will have its all-inclusive spaghetti entrees available for just $1.75. The offerings will include throwback items like spaghetti with chicken liver sauce.

While the retro prices are certainly enticing, the Old Spaghetti Factory is using the anniversary festivities for a cause better than your own bottom line: On March 3, the restaurant will donate all proceeds from food sales to the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. Additionally, diners will have the option to add on a donation to their bills. 

OSF's Spaghetti Classics (which in 2020 are priced from $12.50-16.50) are part of the restaurant's "it's all included" offerings, which means each pasta main comes with a side of Italian sourdough bread with whipped garlic and plain butter; your choice of minestrone soup or a green side salad; spumoni ice cream for dessert; and hot tea or coffee. Sauces, of course, include traditional options like meatballs, meat sauce, or marinara sauce, or the OSF's signature Brown Butter and Mizithra Cheese, which is a recipe from the OSF's Portland, Oregon-based founder's family.

"While a lot has changed over the last 50 years, The Old Spaghetti Factory still makes its sauces and dressings fresh daily," notes a media release. 

Vancouver's Old Spaghetti Factory was the first to launch in Canada, just one year after the restaurant's 1969 debut in the U.S., and is operated by a separate company. 

The Gastown location, which some considered haunted, is well-known for its quaint decor and casual family-friendly vibe. It's also home to one of the only surviving streetcars from the B.C. Electric Railway fleet. Its 1904 trolley car number 53, loaned to OSF in 1970 by Ernie Plant. The streetcar operated in Vancouver for years, before becoming a work car; by the late 1950s all of Vancouver's streetcars were off the roads, and most of them torn apart and burned. Installed during the restaurant's construction phase, legend has it the ghost of its onetime conductor lingers on. 

old spaghetti factory
BCER trolley 53. Photo courtesy The Old Spaghetti Factory

While your odds of scoring a seat in the trolley on March 3 are slim, you may want to take a trip back in time anyhow for their $1.75 menu. Just factor in a wait; in 2010 for their 40th anniversary the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown rolled back their prices and saw a line down Water Street, welcoming 2,000 guests on that one day.

Old Spaghetti Factory Gastown 50th Anniversary

When: March 3 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: The Old Spaghetti Factory - 53 Water St.

Cost: Spaghetti Classics for $1.75; donations for the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund welcome


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