Changes On the Drive #70

It was a really wet walk today!  It was so wet, even the pigeons were cowering under the pediment of the Odlin Block.


Starting down south as usual, I notice that the renovation of the old Food Shop on the corner of Commercial and Grandview highway has actually created three units rather than the two I had expected. They are numbered as 2283-2285-2287 Commercial, and a new door has been created for 2287.

The laundry at 2058 Commercial is still operating and still has a large For Lease sign.

In the 1800-block, the former Waves Coffee store at 1850 is still vacant (after 3 months), as is Wonderbucks at 1801 (4 months). One block north, 1735 Commercial is vacant, along with 1740 (8 months), 1706 Commercial (6 months) and 1706 E. 1st. I note that the “Bubble Tea coming soon” signs at 1706 Commercial are no longer there.

North of 1st, the former Strawberry Bakery site inside Il Mercato is still vacant after 29 months. Across the street, there seems no sign of encouragement at the Libra Room which has been closed now for 10 months, the ancient “Coming Soon” signs notwithstanding.  The same could be said for the Roma at 1500, closed now for 7 months. Perhaps they too are having insurance issues which is what we understand (from a comment to the last Changes post) is holding up renovations at Charlatan at 1447 Commercial. Their closure has now lasted 4 months.

The storefronts at 1303 (8 months), 1108 (37 months), 952 (9 months), and 902 (25 months) are still vacant.

On the bright side, the Tandoori Palace at 1439 has reopened after renos, and La Dolce Amore gelato emporium is closed for a few days while they complete a renovation. As reported last month, they will have a whole raft of new flavours and combinations for the re-opening.  Also now open is Bao Down at 1408. It seems to be a beer and tacos joint, though I couldn’t see a menu to confirm. Their interior walls are brightly painted throughout with Steam Whistle pilsener ads.

Choices now has opaque glass on all Drive-facing windows, blanking the view inside. Their store is nearly half a block long and this makes that whole section look unattractive and rather bleak. They need to put plants and or produce outside to create some street appeal.

Last month I mentioned that the REACH building was moving alongm but I forgot to include an image. Here it is today.


At 1011, upstairs from Penelope’s is now DAMA on the Drive, a shop and play space for the international game of Kendama.  Know what that is? Neither did I.  Here they will tell you all about it.  Good luck to them!

Further to my post last month about the lack of public clocks, I note that Carepoint Clinic has a clock in their waiting room visible from the street, and there is another on the north wall of Heather’s Salon at 2239 Commercial.


Previous editions of Changes on the Drive.


3 Responses to Changes On the Drive #70

  1. jakking says:

    The following description of Bao Down is courtesy of Fernando on Twitter as a response to this post:. “Bao Down is a Filipino run steamed bun & taco joint. Fusion of Filipino, African American, Korean. A la Roy Choi

  2. Ferry seagull says:

    The sign on the ex-Roma still says Sopra sotto pizza. But as you said, no progress.
    Now I saw a Sopra Sotto sign on the ex-butcher shop at 4022 East Hastings in Burnaby, but the sign is now taken down, and no progress there.
    Maybe they were planning to set up to the two main Italian communities in the Lower Mainland: East Van and North Burnaby.
    Sopra Sotto is also a New York based upside down pizza chain.

  3. Ferry seagull says:

    By the way, have you noted that the 179 legion now includes the ex-Collingwood legion branch?
    January 2017
    Collingwood Branch #48, closed its doors in 2005 at the Joyce Kingsway location to make room for redeveloping.
    In October 2006 they found a new home at 718 East 20th Ave at Fraser Street.The branch remained at the Fraser Street location until being unceremoniously closed by Pacific Command in December 2012.
    Over the next few years members struggled to keep their charter and history alive and thanks to a few caring members they succeeded.
    In December of 2016 Collingwood membership voted for amalgamation with Grandview Legion and in January of 2017 the new Legion Grandview Collingwood Branch #179 was officially declared open.

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