Having missed the January edition due to the snow and frigid temperatures (my first miss in more than ten years), I was glad to do the walk again yesterday. It was a gorgeous day for it and there are some interesting changes to report.
The storefront at 2247 Commercial has re-opened as Juno Provisions, serving “sushi and more”.
The former Western Union office at 2245 has closed, while the Canntina Cannabis store at 2223 has now opened.
Spartacus Books is just about to open at 1983 Commercial.
What used to be the Terra Housing offices at 1848 Commercial is now Access Employment Services, and the former Expedia Cruise office at 1832 Commercial is now a sales office for the Linx East Van housing development at 2268 E. Broadway.
The former travel bureau at 1733 Commercial seems to have become an extension of the KushKlub cannabis store next door.
What used to be Federico’s Supper Club at 1728 Commercial will soon become another live music venue called Ostia.
The storefront at 1706 Commercial, which has rarely done well as an eating place, will soon morph into a hair salon called Darling Hair Designing.
Yesterday was the last day in business for Exposure Home at 1616 Commercial which has been having a closing out sale for months.
As expected, the Ugly Dumpling at 1590 Commercial has closed, while Don Oso’s at 1305 Commercial opened in December.
The former Renzo’s Cafe, which has been closed at 1301 Commercial for more than a year, has become the Dope Coffee shop. It has the dark-lit atmosphere of a cabaret bar (the photo I took did not come out well).
We have a new beauty salon at 1126 Commercial called Willow’s Wax Bar which promises all sort of interesting vegan services using cruelty-free products.
The storefront at 902 Commercial is not yet open, but the shopfitters were working hard yesterday getting the Liquid Amber Tattoo and Art Collective ready for opening.
Vacancies on the Drive this month:
2277 Commercial (vacant 31 months), 2245 (1 month), 2111 (21 months), 2058 (7 months), 2057 (14 months), 1929 (2 months), 1858 (5 months), 1851 (3 months), 1816 (21 months), 1748 (18 months), 1728 (20 months), 1706 (2 months), 1590 (1 month), 1303 (2 months), 1124 (3 months), 902 (16 months).
We are now at the lowest vacancy level since April 2020, and there are several more storefronts that I anticipate will re-open within the next two months. Clearly, the Drive is looking up!
Previous Changes On The Drive editions.
PS: While formatting this post, I managed to press the wrong button and thus deleted December’s Changes. Very annoying.
I appreciate this recurring feature but am curious why you refer to sponsored ad content as reviews. The Community Pizza “review” yo which you link, for example is a sponsored ad disguised as an independent review. People not looking closely will take it at face value. I’ve noticed this trend on many of the links in your posts in the past. Again, I truly appreciate the service you provide here. Just wondering if you were aware of this practice.
I am well aware of what they are. They are no different to me (no better and no worse) than advertisements and I assume people will take them as they see them. Part of the function of this column as I see it is to highlight what is going on on the Drive to the rest of the City. If you can find completely independent reviews, I am always happy to feature them, but they are very few and far between.
So the BierKratt remains a light beer haven in the summer time heat (if we ever get to summer)..
I am surprised that there is no public drinking (openly) in Grandview Park. (Victoria Park, mostly forgotten by the Drive people a block over, has quiet imbibing of alcohol)
I wonder will we see the constant long lineups at The Canteen 1111 Commercial Nachos as surprised people see the lineups at the Downlow Chicken. The spicing seems to work.
Come the Spring! and the bright light of afternoon sun on the Drive.
Don Oso also has been open some months in North Burnaby in ex-White Lotus deli at 4421 East Hastings St.
Spartacus books moving from 3378 Findlay St, Vancouver, BC under the skytrain, behind Croatian Centre, just off the Victoria Drive diversion (where Commercial bends to Victoria Drive)!!
And now in the ex-grocery, later skateboard shop, at 1983 Commercial Drive.
That makes 4 or 5 bookstores on the Drive?
That Commercial Street area was becoming rather rich. Lots of new better design condos on Commercial STREET and every single customer in the Flourista Bakery Cafe had Macs or iPhones.
The Street, its shops and art galleries, have become extremely gentrified.
The STREET used to be light industrial: Storkcraft baby furniture, Pops Fur Storage, Teepee Sporting Goods, Rotary Pie Company, Luna monthly pads. Industrial First Aid courses and so on.
Many of the old bay-windowed apartments had many artists in the 1960s through 1980s and they attempted to have summer street festivals.
It was called Cedar Cottage back in 1910s and had an interurban station. Lord Selkirk Elementary school did a history of the area.
I see a Wesgroup development on the Drive at the southwest corner of 1690 East 12th Avenue and Commercial (formerly the Friendly Cafe later Friendly Banners Cafe) is opposite the ChongQing restaurant is promoting a new condo tower with the slogan on a roof top sign, TogetherOnTheDrive.ca on the north side of the former diner cafe.
Wesgroup also has named signs on Broadway’s ex-gas-station sites.
Nothing on thj]e Spartacus web page yet, about moving.
Do save the current long, long, involved history of the Spartacus store on their Wiki site en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spartacus_Books
which has a small Instagram footnote about why they are moving though they call the new Drive place 1983 Commercial Street.
The new coffee bar at Charles and Commercial where Renzo’s used to be is called Mum’s the Word, not Dope.
That’s good to know. All I had to go on was the sign outside.