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March 27, 2023

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Gustav’s restaurant in Vancouver might become day care

Owner of German restaurant says she hasn’t sold property

By , Columbian staff writer
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The east Vancouver home of the popular German restaurant Gustav’s may become a day care facility, according to pre-planning documents submitted to the city of Vancouver.

California-based Higher Ground Education has proposed to repurpose the building at 1705 S.E. 164th Ave.

The property is owned by Suzeanne Briede, president and chief executive of Guten Foods, which owns Gustav’s.

In an email to The Columbian, Briede said that the property and restaurant have not been sold. The restaurant remains open.

Briede announced in the spring of last year that her company would be closing other Gustav’s locations. Vancouver is the only one still operating, as well as the company’s Bargarten restaurant in Keizer, Ore. Briede wrote on Gustav’s website that she made the decision to close most of her restaurants due to health issues and her cancer recovery.

Opened in February 2003, the Vancouver Gustav’s location was the instantly popular outpost of German food and beer popularized by legendary restaurateur Horst Mager, Briede’s father, who founded Der Rheinlander restaurant in Portland in 1963. It closed in 2017.

The plans submitted to the city call for the existing 7,814-square-foot building to be expanded by an additional 1,718 square feet, allowing space for the facility to serve 154 children.

The pre-planning narrative also proposes that the parking lot be reduced to make way for a playground and 11,000 square feet of landscaped area.

Higher Ground Education owns and operates more than 100 Montessori schools in North America, Europe and Asia. Its Guidepost Montessori brand, which is mentioned in the pre-planning documents, serves students in their early years.

“Guidepost Montessori follows five core values dedicated to fostering independence, creativity and intelligence, confidence and responsibility within the children,” the pre-planning narrative read.

Guidepost Montessori doesn’t generally build or purchase buildings based on speculation, the pre-planning narrative stated.

“The subject property is being acquired because there is an existing demand for day care in the immediate area,” read the document.

The narrative stated that traffic generation for the property would be low and spread throughout the day.

A representative from Higher Ground Education didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.