Changes On The Drive #96

August 1, 2019

It was just a perfect summer’s day stroll down the Drive yesterday with the heat of the bright sunshine complemented by a good fresh breeze.  It was a midweek lunch hour, and the Drive wasn’t so busy as to be uncomfortable. Notwithstanding the lazy weather, there have been a number of changes on the street this month, but we end up, once again, at our lowest vacancy number for several years..

The Sweet Greek restaurant at 2277 Commercial is still closed after the change of management noted last month. It looked desolate through the windows yesterday so I am reluctantly calling this one vacant.


Cafe Deux Soleils at 2096 Commercial gets a nice call out as one of the best and cheapest brunches in town. It was during a poetry slam in the last millenium when I was last there. No idea why it took so long, but I went yesterday for brunch and it was great.


There is good news on the Falcone front.  The restaurant at 1812 may already be open, it certainly looked ready as I walked by yesterday. the 1810 storefront was completely covered up, so it was impossible to tell if that is equally ready to re-emerge.  Good news anyway.

La Grotta at 1791 Commercial is celebrating 40 years of service on the Drive,

The Babylon Tea Company at 1740 Commercial was closed as I walked by. it was closed the last time i looked, too, and there is an accumulation of mail on the doorstep.  Maybe just closed for holidays so I am reluctant to call it vacant yet.

The anticipated Bar Corso at 1544 Commercial is still not yet open.

One of the last surviving stores of its type, Black Dog Video at 1470 Commercial gets a CBC story.

The space next door to Renzo’s, 1303 Commercial, seems to be being taken over by the Green Party, in anticipation of the fall election, I guess.

Whatever extra space was previously available at the REACH Clinic, 1045 Commercial, is now to be occupied by a new Provincial Health Care hub. “The facilities are intended to take stress off of hospital ERs while providing patients with same-day access to doctors and nurses.”


Story on the Eastside Food Co-op at 1034 Commercial has turned its fortune on it head. Last year, there were fears it would have to close; now, it is reporting great results and even talking about a possible expansion. Great news for a great organization.

The Absinthe Bistro, which used to be at 1260 Commercial, has now moved and opened at 952 Commercial.


Vacancies on the Drive this month:  2277 Commercial (1 month vacant), 2223 (5 months), 1840 (6 months), 1810 (17 months), 1735 (10 months), 1544 (2 months), 1260 (1 month).

The future of retail?  See the massive anticipated growth in “autonomous check out” in retail stores:



Previous Changes On The Drive editions.


More about Work

July 22, 2019

I have today published a geographic analysis of the 1911 Census for Grandview, along with a map showing the distribution of population change in the district between 1911 and 1921.

For those interested in our local history, please visit the Grandview Heritage website.

Vision (And Reimer) Still Debasing Grandview’s Community

July 9, 2019

The Napier Greenway, that short section of non-road leading from Commercial to Britannia, is one of the joys of our neighbourhood.  It is a restful oasis of trees, plants and benches in the heart of our concrete jungle. It is maintained that way through the hard work of the volunteers of the Britannia Neighbours group who tend to the gardens and organize litter removal.

We understand, thanks to ILiveInEastVancouver, that during its dying moments, the last Vision Vancouver Council voted — in a secret in camera meeting — to change the name of Napier Greenway to Margaret Mitchell Plaza.  Apparently led by Andrea Reimer — famous for disparaging and ignoring local community groups, and probably the worst Councillor ever to pretend to represent us — Vision’s majority took this step without any consultation with Britannia Neighbours or anyone else that I am aware of.

(Let me hasten to say that Margaret Mitchell, long our MP, deserves all the recognition we can pile on her. This complaint has nothing to do with our fond memories of her).

We should all be upset that they took this step without consultation.  We should also wonder how or why the Vision Council decided to make this change in an in camera meeting.  I just re-read sections 165.1 and 165.2 of the Vancouver Charter which states that all meetings should be open and public except for very specific matters to do with legalities, personnel, and similar stuff. I would love to know from the City Solicitor how this change was allowed to be made in secret.

More importantly, I hope that the current batch of Councillors will reverse this decision and actually ask the residents of Grandview what they think.  By doing so they can prove themselves a lot more democratic than Reimer and Vision ever were.


Laneway Housing: A Learning Experience

July 5, 2019

Changes On The Drive #95

July 1, 2019

Boy it was hot walking the Drive yesterday. Thank goodness I remembered my hat!

Not a lot of changes this month.  However, we remain at only 8 vacancies on the Drive. Two of those vacancies are former cannabis dispensaries which, I assume, are still struggling with the licensing process, two others are the linked Falcone storefronts which may or may not be being renovated (it is hard to tell), and a further two are scheduled to reopen imminently.

The Sweet Greek, a place I have praised before, has a sign saying that new management has taken over.  Fingers crossed that it doesn’t lose its charm.


The new-to-us Grounds for Coffee, which opened last month at 2088 Commercial, gets a long and glowing review in the Vancouver Sun.  However, they have had to give up their idea of not accepting cash.


As suggested last month, My Sister’s Closet has now formally taken over the 1828 Commercial storefront.


The BBQ Chicken place at 1678 Commercial seems to be getting a makeover. It was looking pretty run down.


The southernmost storefront of the Kalena group, 1544 Commercial, which most recently failed as a fancy candy store, is soon to be a bar, the Corso.  I’m not sure when it will open.


Sopra Sotto at 1510 Commercial has opened a branch in Burnaby.

The owners of the recently opened Harbour Oyster Bar at 1408 Commercial are revealed to be Ari Demosten and Alex Kytiazis, previously known from their controversial and now-closed Escobar Restaurant on Fraser.

Finally, 952 Commercial (which used to be Joe’s Grill) is still closed but will soon reopen as the new location for Absinthe Bistro, currently at 1260 Commercial.


Vacancies on the Drive this month:  2223 Commercial (4 months vacant), 1840 (5 months), 1812 (16 months), 1810 (16 months), 1735 (9 months), 1544 (1 month), 1303 (2 months), 952 (9 months).

Previous Changes on The Drive editions.

More on East Side Pride

June 22, 2019

We went to the East Side Pride festival at Grandview Park at lunchtime today. It had only just begin so there were not huge crowds yet, but it was colourful an noisy and fun.

Select an image for a better view.

East Side Pride

June 21, 2019

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow (Saturday 22nd), the central part of the Drive will be filled with fun and games to celebrate East Side Pride.  Activities at Grandview Park begin around 11 am and go on until early evening.

There will be 30+ vendors, food trucks, a bunch of great musical acts and half a dozen drag performances.  It’ll be great fun — come join us!