Image: Shavings

January 1, 2019

Image: Flower Offering

January 1, 2019

Changes On The Drive #89

January 1, 2019

It was a glorious winter when I did the walk on Sunday; the sunshine was a real pleasure after so much rain.

As foreshadowed last month, the storefront at 2240 has been taken over by Pet Pantry, food and supplies. So now we have at least three pet supply stores within the core of the Drive.


Again as forecast last month, La Pache Pizza has move into the new storefront at 2082 Commercial.


Unfortunately, there still seems to be no progress at Falconetti’s, 1810-1810 Commercial.  The space is looking more desolate by the month.

Frateli Bakery at 1795 Commercial, and Andy’s Herman Bakehaus at 935 are both included in ILiveInEastVancouver’s list of favourite bakeries.

The Ugly Dumpling at 1590 Commercial and Sopra Sotto at 1510 were both given Honourable Mentions in the Vancouver Sun‘s Best New Restaurants of 2018.

The very-soon-to-be-open Livia bakery/cafe at 1399 Commercial is already sparkling up that block with its new white paint job and chic awning.  I suspect they are just days away from opening.


Next door to them, at 1397 Commercial, we say hello to Alpine Sport & Spine clinic, and gooddbye to a chunk of the Drive’s history.


In 1951, Nels Beaton, a Canadian veteran, opened a chiropratic clinic at 1704 E. 1st. In December 1953, Nels — who liked to wear bowties — moved his office to 1678 Commercial.  From the mid-1950s Nels Beaton was a civic leader of Grandview, chairing at various times the Chamber of Commerce, the Community Association, and the Van East Lions. His office, later shared with his son, moved to 1661 then 1321 and finally to 1397 Commercial in 1983.  For the last few years, the office has operated under the shingle of Beaton and Jeager. Now, only Jeager’s name is on the door and the Drive is without a Beaton for the first time in 67 years.

Rosemary Rocksalt at 1350 Commercial was one of only two local spots to make it onto the Daily Hive‘s list of Best Comfort Food Destinations:, there are so many more!  The other entry by the way was the DL Chicken Shack at 905 Commercial, which still gets lineups most lunchtimes.

Confirming last month’s news, Canuck Auctions at 1303 Commercial now sports a very permanent-looking sign.


Pacific Poke at 1268 has finally opened!


The storefront at 1206 Commercial which was vacant with the disappearance of Dandelion Kids has been taken over by a Pop Up Shop for a “plant-based boutique“.


What was Hustle Pizza at 1110 Commercial is now either Pizza Castle or Pizza on the Go ddepending on which sign you look at.


Finally, the renovation at Joe’s Grill at 952 Commercial doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so I now show it as vacant.


Vacancies on the Drive this month:  2235 Commercial (3 months vacant), 2086 (12 months), 2088 (12 months), 1812 (10 months), 1810 (10 months), 1801 (24 months), 1744 (2 months), 1735 (3 months), the bakery space in Il Mercato (48 months), 1409 (4 months), 1408 (9 months), 952 (3 months).

There has been a substantial fall in the amount of vacant space on the Drive this month as several projects, anticipated for months, have come to fruition.

Urbanologists and community activists bemoan the retail vacancy rate in Vancouver and Metro but the situation is so much worse in the UK.  In this article, it is claimed that a full quarter of shop space in England and Wales was lost between the financial crash of 2008 and 2015.

Some years ago I wrote a few pieces about the decline of the mall in America.  Seems as if this decline has not yet ended.


Previous Changes on the Drive edition.

January 2019

January 1, 2019