Changes On The Drive #117

May 1, 2021

I wasn’t able to do my walk on Friday as I normally would; which turned out to be a good thing because today was just perfect for walking. The Drive and all its patios was alive with people enjoying themselves. Let us hope that the regulatory climate soon improves along with the weather so that more of the new places can open.

Poke Five, the restaurant at 2247 Commercial, has announced that it will be closing permanently later this spring. It opened in May of 2018.

The Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant at 2149 Commercial has a fine new patio, as does Giancarlo’s at 1865 Commercial. The latter was very popular at lunchtime today.

The Liberty Tax preparation office at 1848 Commercial has opened. Our first genuinely new business for several months.

At 1752 Commercial, which used to be a Starbucks and is soon to be a Mexican restaurant, an entire orchestra was out having fun.

The always-wonderful Fratelli’s Bakery at 1795 Commercial gets a long spread in Daily Hive for its almost-25 years of service on the Drive.

Our second new business this month is the CraftMaison store at 1840 Commercial. It is now open (the image was taken earlier).

I believe the Dive-In Desserts at 1706 Commercial is closed. Happy to be proven wrong.

The nachos at Memphis Blues, 1342 Commercial, get a great rating.

Havana, 1212 Commercial, has been advertizing for a new Restaurant Manager.

What’s the story with Biercraft at 1191 Commercial? They are papered up as if closed, but their website is still saying they exist, and I thought they recently upgraded their patio.

The Kulinarya restaurant at 1124 Commercial has a new patio that was very popular today.

I still haven’t called Penelope’s at 1009 vacant, but it has been covid-closed now for a full year and more.

CityHallWatch had this to say about most recent commercial developments in Vancouver:

“The new occupants of the retail space mostly appear to be chain stores and medical clinics. In areas with a rich tapestry of local stores and services, is it only chain stores and medical clinics that compete for the new space? Could smaller storefronts, with narrow frontages (for example 25 feet or just a bit more) encourage a wider range of services and more appeal and variety of the street front? What are the effects of high ceilings on the ground floor — in terms of building costs, rent costs, look, feel and ambiance? Are business improvement associations (BIAs, which often speak up at Public Hearings to endorse rezoning and development applications) talking to their existing members to get input on what kinds of developments/buildings will help them survive and thrive? How can the City and developers ensure that small shops and businesses (traditional and startups both) survive and thrive when existing commercial sites are demolished and redeveloped? Or does the appearance of a development application sign in front of a building automatically and inevitably mean the death knell for those existing shops and businesses that add so much to the feel, culture and richness of — and love for — a neighbourhood? These are things for everyone to consider, not the least being our planners and elected officials.”

See also the City’s report on small business: City Report:

Vacancies on the Drive this month: 

2283 Commercial (5 months vacant), 2277 (22 months), 2223 (26 months), 2111 (12 months), 2057 (5 months), 1816 (12 months), 1752 (15 months), 1748 (9 months), 1733 (8 months), 1728 (12 months), 1706 (1 month), 1678 (8 months), 1608-12 (16 months), 1503 (4 months), 1305 (13 months), 1301 (7 months), 1206 (7 months), 1003 (15 months), 935 (15 months), 931 (10 months), 902 (7 months).

Previous Changes On The Drive editions.

Image: Which Way Did They Go?

May 1, 2021

Hijacking Pioneer

May 1, 2021

We rarely hear about plane hijackings these days; for a time there they were a bit of a fad.  But today is the 60th anniversary of the very first US hijacking.

On 1st May 1961, Puerto Rican Antuilo Ramierez Ortiz hijacked a National Airlines plane at pistol-point and ordered it to fly to Cuba where he received asylum. He started quite a craze.

International Day of the Worker

May 1, 2021


In most parts of the world, May 1st is recognized as the International Day of the Worker and we celebrate it as such. Labor Day in September is a North American tradition, encouraged by President Grover Cleveland so as to distance American labour from socialists and anarchists.