The perfect day to walk down the Drive! Hot and sunny, just like a summer should be. With the sunshine and the World Cup games, every outdoor patio seat was filled, and happy and eager crowds puddled outside, watching screens as best they could. Wow, it was busy, lively, and just wonderful!
Down south, the building that I have always known as the Far East Building (home of the Van East Theatre), is now open and working and called The Marquee. Three of the storefronts are open: a coffee shop, a beauty salon, and the CCEC credit union which has returned to its proper place. The Marquee’s marketing guys focus on the recycled nature of the building.
The small building across the street at 2223 Commercial, where CCEC housed themselves during the Marquee reno, is now a medical marijuana dispensary. We have quite a few of these on the Drive now.
2068 Commercial — what, back in those glorious days, was Sang’s Chinese (the best delivery Chinese; we’ll never see its like again), and then became Timbre Bar & Restaurant — has quickly turned intself into Sushi Ville.
There’s a lot of good sushi on the Drive these days, so I wish them good luck.
Closer to the centre, the Sureno Market at 1730 is now the Persian Market. I wonder if it will change much.
Across the street, J.N.Z. at 1729 Commercial closed at the end of June for a scheduled four month break. The story I hear is the new owner of the Brandon Block is renovating the entire building, inside and out, and he is committed, so I was told, to preserve the heritage building as we know and love it. That’s good news. However, I know the suites in that block were some of the most affordable in the neighbourhood. Hard to believe they’ll stay that way with a major reno to pay for.
David Jackman, the chef at Merchants Oyster Bar, 1590 Commercial, got a good story in the Vancouver Observer. And, as promised, the entirely refurbished Caffe Roma opened in time for the World Cup. They were packed when I walked by today.
In the block opposite the Park, the Drive Mortgage office at 1252 Commercial, is now open. A few doors down, 1268 is still vacant, though workmen were seen in there the other day. The former Urban Empire at 1108 Commercial is still “For Lease”. A new vacancy comes with the closure of Three Jewels restaurant at 1179. I understand they were quite busy for a while, so this is unfortunate.
I really like the new storefront for the old Florida Market building at 1102 Commercial. They are beautifully old-fashioned wood with small windows.
I am told that some experts might say the transom windows are a little too large. I say, why quibble? This is going to be another coffee shop, I am reliably informed. Just what we needed!
Finally, way up north in the 900-block, the former Bocadillo sandwich place is still vacant at 903. Across the street at 950, Adeline’s has now officially morphed into Cafe Shibuya. I use and really like the place for breakfast meetings and as a coffee spot, so I hope that part stays much the same. I have noticed the addition of Japanese and Korean items on their menu. They work hard and deserve the best.