Changes On The Drive #92

I took advantage of Saturday’s gorgeous spring weather to do the walk. The Drive was busy, noisy, revelling in the sleeveless warmth, every patio seat filled.

It is all change in the Marquee storefronts.  Relish Burgers at 2990 Commercial has closed. The lease has been picked up by Fadi Eid, owner of the Jamjar restaurant currently at 2280 Commercial.  Jamjar will close at 2280 on April 30th and reopen at 2290 the following day.  Later in May, 2280 will become the new location for Sushi Loku which is currently located on East Broadway.


Across the street, after 5 months sitting vacant, 2235 Commercial is now Vape Street …


… while 2223 Commercial is closed “for renovations until further notice.”


The Saloniki Restaurant, long resident at 1815 Commercial has morphed into the Park Drive.

There is work being done at the Falcone storefronts at 1810 and 1812 Commercial. They look far from ready to re-open, but it is good to see some activity there after more than a full year’s closure..

Fortunato Bruzzese’s glorious La Grotta del Formaggio at 1791 Commercial has been selected as the place to get the Best Sandwich in Metro Vancouver by the Vancouver Sun.

Source: Vancouver Sun


Meanwhile, Pulp Fiction bookstore has completed its move from 1830 Commercial to 1744 Commercial, a much bigger space.


At 1622, La Mezcaleria is the only Commercial Drive joint in Scout’s list of Best Brunches in the City. I happen to think there are some decent brunches available all up and down the Drive, but this one is pretty good.

The former Bao Down at 1408 Commercial is still not open, but they have a new awning that announces the imminent arrival of Harbour Oyster Bar.

The new Livia Bakery & Cafe at 1395 Commercial continues to attract good press. It was packed from end to end when I walked by on Saturday.

The northern four blocks of Commercial to Venables were unchanged this month.


Vacancies on the Drive this month:  2290 Commercial (1 month vacant), 2086 (vacant 15 months), 2088 (15 months), 1840 (2 months), 1830 (1 month), 1812 (13 months), 1810 (13 months), 1801 (27 months), 1735 (6 months), 1706 (2 months), 1409 (7 months), 1408 (12 months), 952 (6 months).


Previous Changes on the Drive editions.

4 Responses to Changes On The Drive #92

  1. Ferry Seagull says:

    Sushi Loku being chased out of Fraser and Broadway (592 East Broadway) by rampant condo development in that part of Broadway.

    Will the same happen to Commercial or are land assembly too difficult.

    I see we are going to lose Columbus meats with a small notice (page b7) in the Tuesday Globe and Mail weekly feature series from Altus Group Realty ICC consultants.that 1302-1316 Nanaimo and adjacent 2412 Charles Streets have been sold as a block for $4.9 million $798 a square foot.

    • jakking says:

      There are very strict rules for land assembly on the Drive itself, and the Community Plan (for all its other faults) was quite specific about keeping the Drive more or less the way it is. Neither Broadway nor the eastside of Nanaimo have those protections.

  2. Ferry Seagull says:

    I was quite surprised that Rufus Drums and Guitars took the whole ex-Dairy/Wonderbucks.
    What a place to play and practice.
    Their Lower 10th Avenue/Dunbar places were smaller.

  3. jakking says:

    I was surprised, too. As I wrote last month (, this is a very large investment for them to make; and it preserves what most of us assumed would be another 4-storey condo block.

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