Image: Red Yellow Blue

November 1, 2019

Changes On The Drive #99

November 1, 2019

It was a spectacular fall day yesterday when I did the walk; bright and sunny, with just enough of a chill to make it interesting.

The old Sweet Greek at 2277 Commercial has been closed for a few months now.  Today, I noticed the signage had come down but the interior, with tables and chairs etc., is still as it was. Along the block, 2223 is also still closed but there is work going on inside to refit, and the development permit confirms that it will still be a cannabis store when it reopens.

At 2001 Commercial, the Gough Hair Salon has closed, replaced by the Van Fade Barber Shop.


The Hive this week has given us “the ultimate list of good coffee shops” in Vancouver.  Only two of the Drive’s many great coffee shops made it to the list: Prado at 1938 Commercial, and Spade, at 1858.  I suspect there will be lots of disagreements about this by devotees on the Drive.


1840 Commercial, which was very briefly a tattoo parlour, looks vacant again.

At 1544 Commercial, Bar Corso is still not open; and from the sign on the door it doesn’t seem close:


Sopra Sotto at 1510 Commercial and Marcello’s at 1404 Commercial both make it to the Best Pasta in Vancouver list at Dished.

According to Flare, the best brunch on the Drive is at Livia Bakery, 1399 Commercial.  The prices are a bit steep for my taste.  For about the same price you can get a very decent brunch and a beer at The Dime, 1565 Commercial.  A different style, no doubt, and not so chic. But I don’t eat brunch to be chic. Do you?

You may recall that Fets at 1230 Commercial were controversially raided some while ago and had $40,000 of whiskey seized (see my reports here, here, here, and here.)   The restaurant is now headed to BC Supreme Court to try and get recovery of their property.

I noticed on the walk yesterday, that the Havana Theatre now has its own door. I’m not sure if I missed it before.


Now that the Federal election is over, and the Greens have moved out of their campaign office, 1303 Commercial is vacant again.

There is a very interesting article by the CBC about vegan tattooing, featuring Arcane Body Arts at 1111 Commercial.

The Five Elements Cafe at 1046 Commercial is closed for renovations.  It is suggested they will reopen in December of January.


The following note is from their website:

“Five Elements would like to Thank everyone for your love and support in the past years. As of October 26 , 2019 Our restaurant will be closing for renovations. We will be reopen in Mid December or early January with new exciting menu. We looking forward to this new facelift and changes Victoria and Five Elements family like to wish you all a very happy time with your love ones and enjoy this year’s Halloween and have a fun time in the lost souls parade this year.  Just a heads up we will be having a bar serving Vietnamese beer, wine and cocktail plus lots of seafood on the menu with A new noodle soup everyday for lunch we try bring favourites from the north to the south of Vietnam and at dinner we will be serving lots of Authentic Vietnam dishes plus on the weekends we Will having A chef’s creative menu. Its ever challenging for my me, my son and his chefs to bring the authentic traditional Vietnamese with a healthy concept in mind “less sodium and minimize to use any msg in our menu but still to achieved the tastes thats we all craving for”. We might disappoint some regulars with not having their favourite item from the old menu … Bon Appetite everyone.”


Movie actress Alicia Silverstone has given Raise Vegan magazine a list of her favourite began spots in VancouverEternal Abundance at 1025 Commercial makes the list as a vegan cafe and grocer.

We went for dinner this week at Absinthe Bistro, 962 Commercial.  My review is here.


Vacancies On The Drive This Month:  2277 Commercial (4 months vacant), 2223 (8 months), 1840 (1 month), 1740 (3 months), 1735 (13 months), 1544 (5 months), 1303 (1 month), 1260 (4 months), 1012 (1 month).


Previous editions of Changes On The Drive.


November 1, 2019


November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

— Elizabeth Coatsworth