Changes On The Drive #85

I did the walk yesterday, my first day out in a while. It was a beautiful late summer day and I enjoyed it — even though I had to find a place to sit down just about every half-block!

The Mr Greek Donair Store that opened a few months ago seems to be quite busy. They must be better at cooking than at spelling the address of their place:


The old/new laundromat at 2058 Commercial, now called Wash Out, has opened.

It is disappointing to see nothing happening at either of the Falcone storefronts (1810 and 1812). They have sat there rather drably now for six months.

Hard to avoid good reviews for the food at Mezcaleria at 1622 Commercial.  Another one here.

Merchants Workshop is now closed at 1590 Commercial as of 16th August. Looking forward to the Ugly Dumpling which had teased a possible opening in September.


1417 Commercial, the Eastside Pizza has closed.  After renovations, it will have a new owner and a new name:


The maternity store Room for Two at 1409 Commercial appears to be closing.  Please God let it not be replaced by yet another food outlet!


All-Basho is closed at 1399 Commercial. No surprise, really, once Elizabeth Bakery moved out. It looks rather bleak right now.  It is an odd space and I wonder if the building owner will need to re-fit for better function, perhaps as two separate stores.


Havana at 1212 Commercial is still closed after their recent fire, but they say they’ll be back soon.  I won;t put them on the shut list quite yet.


Basil Thai at 1179 Commercial gets a mention for Best Thai in the city, but with a rather mixed review.


The vacant storefront 1151 Commercial in the REACH Community Health Clinic building is still vacant. I heard a rumour it will be leased to municipal party as an election office. In the longer term, talk has it that it may be brought back into the clinic’s operations as they are already feeling the pinch in their brand new space.

The Bombay Kitchen has now opened at 1026 Commercial. I haven’t tried it yet, but I did hear one rather tepid review from a friend.

Kim Kao Thai Kitchen, 903 Commercial, also gets a good review from the Best Thai in Vancouver list.


Vacant/closed/renovating stores on the Drive this month:  2240 Commercial (6 months vacant), 2082 (8 months), 2084 (8 months), 2086 (8 months), 2088 (8 months), 1810 (6 months), 1812 (6 months), 1801 (20 months), Strawberry Bakery site (44 months), 1590 (1 month), 1417 (1 month), 1408 (5 months), 1303 (21 months), 1268 (12 months), 1151 (8 months),


Commercial Drive seems to be thriving. The same cannot be said for retail across much of the Lower Mainland  as this Business in Vancouver article illustrates.


Previous Changes on the Drive editions. 


3 Responses to Changes On The Drive #85

  1. Ferry Seagull says:

    Passed the Reef number 2 (Reef was the previous restaurant to Bombay Kitchen) on Main and 25th on Thursday, doing a thriving business.

    Sad to see Room for 2 closing after 30 years, so the signs say.
    This was one of the few ‘goods’ stores on the drive that are left.
    I noted in your blog some time ago how dynamic this block was in the 1960s. Then came the rush of food outlets.

    Service stores, like dentists, banks, salons have no need to be on the ground floor, and are unfriendly to the walkers on a street. One does not go in unless one needs the service, while in “goods” stores one can wander in (out of the rain, the darkness etc.) and feel the goods and have a chat.

    We are killing our city with allowing some streetfronts to be “by invitation only”

  2. Ferry seagull says:

    Friday was the opening of the full First Avenue.
    I noticed that many trees along the northern side of this highway were radically trimmed on lower branches.
    Many were of 20 year old branches, quite thick. Most were on the heliotropic (sun-facing) sides.

    Now these were cut well, flush against the tree, etc. possibly inidcating a good arborist. But who did it–all along the road–the City, the Park Board, Fortis?

    Do we really need to let our roads and trucks define nature?

    On the southern side of First Avenue there were fewer “white cuts” of the trees. But at the former Salvation Army Temple for example you can see some cuts.on the road side.

    In other news, I see that Frederico’s and other merchants are thinking of suing Fortis for loss, and ruiining business

    Global News
    1st Avenue August 30, 2018 9:07 pm
    ‘Commercial Drive businesses threaten to sue Fortis over business lost during 1st Ave. closure”

    ….” “According to Fuoco, Fortis had previously agreed to compensate businesses for the impact of the construction but has since reneged.
    ….according to Fuoco, during that two-month full closure, some local businesses reported losses of between 20 and 50 per cent.”
    ….On top of the reduced business, Fuoco claimed traffic calming measures put in place to try and discourage shortcut-seeking “rat runners” have also been causing havoc for businesses.
    “They’ve closed all the side streets, you can’t get here. I’ve had my suppliers ticketed. I’ve been stopped by the cops, and I live and work in this neighbourhood. I have my employees ticketed, customers ticketed. I mean, it’s ridiculous.”
    Fortis BC dismisses that claim.”

  3. jakking says:

    Thanks for the comments. I read the piece about Fuocco and other suing Forti but decided to ignore it after I was less than sympathetic to Cassia Cupcakes last month.

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