August 24, 2018
This coming Sunday (26th), the Downlow Chicken Shack at 905 Commercial is closing out the summer with a special schnitzel and wine menu that sounds like fun. The event goes from 5:30pm to 10:00pm. I’m sure there will be crowds.
I could rewrite the Scout’s piece on this and pretend I know what’s going on, but I’m happier to point you to their article.
April 18, 2018
When Nick’s Spaghetti House closed after 62 years in business at 631 Commercial, there was already talk of another restaurant moving into the space. Now, that talk has become concrete action.
The old restaurant is being refurbished and will open as Pepino’s Spaghetti House, owned and operated by the chefs and management team who have been so successful with their Savio Volpe osteria at Fraser & Kingsway. Much of the ambience of Nick’s is being kept, according to a story in Scout Magazine, including the old murals.
Image: Scout Magazine
There is hope the new restaurant will open in June.
The convenience store that used to be next door to Nick’s has also been taken over by the same group. After a complete refit it will reopen as Caffe La Tana, a traditional food store and cafe.
That northern part of Commercial Drive is home to a wide range of less expensive houses and small relatively affordable apartment blocks. It seems to me that Pepino’s and La Tana are probably looking for a more exclusive clientele which they hope to find once that stretch of the neighbourhood is thoroughly gentrified. In the meanwhile, their marketing will aim, I am sure, for the destination crowd.
March 24, 2018
The East Vancouver Improve League (EVIL) engage in a fast-paced improv comedy contest every Sunday at the Havana Theatre.
Proceedings get under way at 7:30pm and tickets are just $8 at the door.
Not sure what will happen in the three weeks that Havana is closed for renos from this Monday, but give tomorrow a look!
March 22, 2018
Thanks to the always useful ILiveInEastVancouver blog, I learn that The Drive Coffee Bar at 1670 Commercial is hosting a weekly story session each Wednesday evening from 7:30pm to 9:00pm:
“You will hear tales from some seasoned storytellers, but each week they do try and get a new face up to take a turn. The venue is a favourite of ours for the great coffee, selection of Cartem Donuts and some of the best sandwiches in the City by La Grotta del Fromaggio plus they also serve wine and beer.”
Sounds like a fun evening!
March 4, 2018
One of our big spaces — what used to be the Roma Caffe, at the corner of Commercial and Grant — seems as though it is just about to burst into life once again after 15 months of shuttered windows.
Since last April we have been teased by the signs suggesting that at some unspecified time in the future we would have a fine Sopra Sotto restaurant. Now it seem it has finally come to fruition. Here is the interior as I passed by in the sunshine yesterday.
My very first thought was that it is a cleaned-up and airy pastiche of all The Drive bars and cafes we already have; nothing particularly original, done well. But it will be in the taste on which its future success will have to rely: we have a good number of pizza places here already at all price levels. Where will they fit?
March 3, 2018
After the NPA event, I went to the Dime for brunch with the Everloving. It is nothing much more than a bar with background music, TVs on most walls, heavily tattooed staff (giving great service), and good cheap food. I really enjoy the place, as does herself, and I thought it time to give it another shout out.
If we go there during the week for lunch, we are both addicted to the Breakfast Sando, served with greens and a piquant dressing. Great stuff. But on the weekends they have a brunch menu and we both adore their Chorizo Hash Skillett. It is a good plateful of potatoes and onions and peppers, a fried egg, with enough chorizo to give it a kick, and served with a form of hollandaise that is to die for.
The quality of the food is superb and the real kicker is that, like all the food at the Dime, they are just $5.95 each. So, two filling brunches and a great pint of local beer cost $17.00 including tax. Most breakfast places on the Drive will charge you $17 for a single serving of hash and eggs with coffee. And most of them won’t be as good.
If you’ve never been to the Dime, I can thoroughly recommend it.
February 7, 2018
At the end of Changes on the Drive #77, I reported on the closure of the long-established Nick’s Spaghetti House along with the convenience store next door. There were reports at the end of the year that another restaurant was primed to take over space.
A correspondent recently wrote asking what was happening at the site, so I went down there yesterday to take a look.
It was disappointing to see just how sad it was, with no work going on there so far as one could see. I’ll keep an eye in it in the hope that something new will appear soon.