Northern Cafe and Grill emerges from pandemic thriving

The unassuming old-school diner, located in South Vancouver, has managed to maintain a busy dining room despite the challenges of COVID-19


By Graham Abraham

Northern Cafe and Grill is a charming diner owned and operated by the Mah family, including father-son pair Jimmy and Raymond. The restaurant is a standout example of a business that succeeded throughout COVID.

Jimmy bought the diner in 2008, and has never purchased advertising, relying instead on word of the stellar service and food travelling by mouth and online.

The walls of the diner are covered in messages of appreciation from customers hailing from all across the world.

Three years ago, Jimmy recruited his son Raymond, who had been working in upscale dining rooms, to come back and manage Northern Cafe and Grill.

The family dynamics present among the staff gave the Mahs a unique logistical advantage during the pandemic, as nobody was laid off and no staff quit.

Raymond also credited their loyal clientele for helping them stay afloat.

“I think a lot of people were really on board of like, supporting small family businesses, and especially local, which helped us tremendously,” said Raymond.

Watch the video above to learn more about why Northern Cafe and Grill is so popular.

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