Restaurants are popping up all the time in the area, and one of the newest is What’s Up? Hot Dog!, who recently took over the iconic Master Chef Cafe space located at 2481 East Hastings. Owned by Matt and Jenna Hagarty, the retro-themed restaurant has only been open since April, but is already getting lots of positive buzz from local food media. When we asked Matt why he specifically chose this area for his restaurant, he says his love of the ‘hood is what drove his decision making. “I live in this area and love this neighbourhood,” he says. “It’s going to be the next destination area, like Commercial Drive and Main Street. More specifically, you just get a vibe. Horse’s records are just down the street which I love to go to, and a lot of my friends live in the neighbourhood as well. We wanted to move closer to the Drive but we actually ended up closer to here which I am so happy about now.” A former letter carrier with Canada Post for a decade, Matt says opening a restaurant has always been a dream, and he’s glad he made the leap. “I opened this businesses because it was always something I wanted to do, so I did it. I wanted there to be a place like this, and no one else was doing it,” he explains. “There used to be this place in Calgary called Tubby Dog, which I loved to go to, and I wanted something similar here. They are an inspiration and our business is completely different – but it is nice to have an equivalent (in Vancouver).” Among his favorite aspects of his job, Matt tells us he loves experimenting with food, interacting with customers, and meeting the families who come in together. “I love being a part of the community, I love this area and it’s great to now be a part of it.” What’s Up? Hot Dog! serve eight different hot dogs on their menu, with wing, burgers and waffle fries also available for order. When you go, be sure to try the Hole Mole, served with chicken mole, fresh pineapple salsa, pickled red onions, salsa verde. Or if you’re feeling really wild, give the Hanzai a go. A pork dog topped with pickled ginger, wasabi mayo, creamy sriracha and tempura crunch. Do note, What’s Up? Hot Dog! will be closed in June for some renovations, so keep up on the latest through their social media channels on Twitter and Instagram.