Changes On The Drive #122

I usually do my walk on the Drive on the last day of the month so that these posts can come out early on the first of the next month. However, I decided NOT to be drowned in the downpour yesterday. Which was a good choice because the Drive was resplendent in autumn sunshine today.

Last month we began with a quote from a Seattle newspaper. This month, we have this from Portland:

“Traditionally a bastion of the local Italian community, Commercial Drive in East Vancouver is still home to superb Italian food (try Oca Pastificio and Fratelli Bakery). But you can also dig into—literally, with your hands—a lavish Filipino boodle fight at Kulinarya Filipino Eatery, pile into some crispy prawn fritters at Lunch Lady (a spinoff of an Anthony Bourdain–approved soup stall in Saigon), or settle into some of the most meticulously prepared sushi in the city at Kishimoto Japanese Restaurant.”

The storefront at 2223 Commercial which has been vacant for a year and a half is still closed but now sports new windows advertising something called Canntina Cannabis.

Cafe Deux Soleils at 2096 Commercial is in a stage play.

The laundromat called Wash Out at 2058 Commercial has closed.

It looks as though Carthage Cafe is returning to its old location at 1851 Commercial, while BC Donair, now closed, was just a temporary interloper.

What used be Federico’s at 1728 Commercial and has been vacant for a year and a half, now has a LEASED sign on the window. No indication of what’s coming, but my guess would be another restaurant.

Although it was closed when I walked by today, I believe that the new Vancity Fried Chicken joint at 1678 Commercial is now open for business.

Lombardo’s Restaurant at 1641 Commercial gets a good review in Daily Hive’s Best Italian Restaurants.

At Mezcaleria, 1622 Commercial, the bartender makes a cool elote cocktail according to Scout Magazine.

I noted last month that Exposure Home at 1616 Commercial was closing down. It is still having its closing out sale, but there is already a LEASED sign on the window.

The newish Loula’s at 1608 Commercial gets another review in which it is described as “like if the Avengers opened a Greek restaurant.”

The Vietnamese café called Merci Beacoup at 1468 Commercial gets a nice review in a list of best pho restaurants.

Havana at 1212 Commercial is looking for staff. For the front of house, a manager, servers, hosts, and a bar back. For the back of house, line cooks, a head chef, and dishwashers are available. Apply at

Well at last we now know what’s happening with the former Biercraft at 1191 Commercial. It is soon to re-open as Community Taps and Pizza. The interior is being transformed by Sydney Earle of Jute Design and there will be 40 or so beers and wines on tap.

902 Commercial is still vacant, but there is a sign promising the soon-to-open Liquid Amber, tattoo and art collective.

Finally, I was sitting having a beer on the patio at Zawa’s the other day and heard the following review en passant: “I really like the Japanese curry at Mogu, but the chicken is better at the Downlow.”

Vacancies on the Drive this month: 

2283 Commercial (10 months vacant), 2277 (27 months), 2247 (4 months), 2223 (31 months), 2111 (17 months), 2058 (1 month), 2057 (10 months), 1983 (5 months), 1858 (2 months), 1851 (1 month), 1816 (17 months), 1748 (14 months), 1733 (13 months), 1728 (18 months), 1503 (9 months), 1305 (17 months), 1303 (3 months), 1301 (12 months), 1191 (5 months), 1126 (4 months), 1111 (1 month), 902 (12 months).

While it appears that the vacancy rate on the Drive is getting worse, I would note that several of the vacant storefronts are leased and/or are ready to open soon. I have confidence that next month’s figures will show an improvement.


Previous Changes On The Drive editions.

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