What a startlingly beautiful day with which to start the year! Crisp temperature and clear blue sky seemed to bring out a lot of smiling faces this morning as I took my walk. The Drive didn’t seem particularly busy today (perhaps half the stores were open) but all of the cafes and restaurants that were open seemed crowded and jovially noisy.
I’ll start this piece by mentioning a recent travel story about our City in the British newspaper the “Independent“, in which Commercial Drive is described as “the most alluring shopping drag in East Vancouver.” I don’t recall us being called “alluring” before. It certainly seems as if we are stable right now; for the third month running, there are few changes on the retail front.
Down at the south end, the Marquee building is still selling apartments, but the storefronts are all filled. One of those storefronts is the Jamjar Restaurant which received this fine review.
Meanwhile, 2247 Commercial is still vacant, the only such space south of First. The JNZ meat store at 1729 is also still closed, apparently because of continuing renovations to the building, but the assumption is that they will re-open at some point.
On Commercial, north of First to Venables, there are no major changes that I could see. 1458, 1268, 1108, 1102 and 903 Commercial are still vacant as they were last month. However, 1102 is just waiting for City licensing, I hear (for seven months?), before they can open as a coffee shop; and 903 is expected to open this month as a Thai restaurant.
The former Adeline’s at 952 Commercial, which was only recently renovated to become the Shibuya Japanese/Korean fusion restaurant, is closed “for renovations.”
There are changes on Charles at the south-east corner of Commercial. Since the landlord’s desire for more rent forced the closure of the Little Nest Restaurant (1716 Charles) and the Flower Box florist (1704) many months ago, the spaces have been vacant. For the last couple of months, a condo development company has been using 1704 as a sales office, but they seem to have gone now, the space yawningly empty.
One of my regular correspondents tells me that 1716 Charles is being re-fitted as a dollar store (the windows are taped over so I couldn’t see in today). My immediate reaction to that was to wonder how a dollar store could afford rent that a popular snackery couldn’t handle. But the rumour is the store is being leased at a reduced rate for a family friend. We’ll see how that works out.
Previous Changes on the Drive posts.