The past month has seen the departure, or closing announcement, of two long-time West End establishments. Here are their stories.
THE DOVER ARMS has closed after nearly 40 years of providing cold beer, great pub food, and most importantly live entertainment.
There was something particularly poignant about this closure, coming as it did close on the heels of the passing of Sunday afternoon regular Bob White of The BobCats.
The rent was increased by a reported $9,000 a month, making continued operation simply unsustainable.
The Dover closed with a blow-out party on April 23, which saw lineups down the block as fans turned out to wish this iconic venue goodbye.
WEST VALLEY MARKET on Bute at Davie is also ringing down the curtain on a 40-year run as the neighbourhood's go-to spot for fresh produce, friendly service and, in recent years, ethnic foods that were unavailable elsewhere in the area, including Japanese, South Asian, and Mexican specialties. For the past ten years Colin Lo and his mother Fanny were the public faces of this popular store, founded in 1975 by Colin's father Andrew and uncles Alfred and Bob.
At its height West Valley market had up to 13 staff serving customers and maintaining the more than 5,000 square feet of shelves, coolers, and the outdoor produce displays.
The seven-day weeks working from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. took their toll on family life and late last year, following a death in the family, the Los decided it was time to close. They will continue through to the end of May, while inventory lasts.
On April 13 the West End Business Improvement Association and West End Citizens Action Network (WECAN) hosted a farewell party at the store.
THEY'RE OFF AND RUNNING!
The BC provincial election takes place Tuesday, May 9, and we have a choice of three candidates in the West End - Coal Harbour riding.
Enjoy our slide-show (right) of shots taken at the April 1 all candidates forum held at Gordon Neighbourhood House. (Photos by Joy Gyamfi)
NDP candidate Spencer Chandra Herbert has represented the riding since his first election in the 2008 by-election and subsequent re-election in 2009 and 2013. Nigel Elliott, running for the BC Liberal Party, has a background in provincial government administration and community advocacy. Green Party candidate James Marshall is an animator in the local video game industry, and the only candidate who plays the bagpipes!
If you are registered to vote you should have received your voter's card in the mail by now. If you are not registered, you can do so, with proper identification, at your polling station when you go to vote.
Advance voting takes place at the following locations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the dates noted:
- Coal Harbour Community Centre (480 Broughton) on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30 and Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6.
- St. Andrew's Wesley United Church (1022 Nelson) on Wednesday through Saturday, May 3 through 6.
- Columbus Millennium Tower (1175 Broughton) on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30 and Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6.
- Sunset Towers (1655 Barclay) on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30 and Wednesday through Saturday, May 3 through 6.
- The Robert Lee YMCA (955 Burrard) Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30.
For further information on registration and voting rules and procedures, and visit elections.bc.ca or call 1.800.661.8683.
Next Month In The West End Journal
The June issue of The West End Journal will see the return of our "Then & Now" feature, showcasing photos past and present of West End landmarks and neighbourhoods, and the introduction of three new features.
Long-time West End resident and journalist Dianne Maguire will launch "Hidden Treasures", taking a look each month at some of the water features and other urban design treasures that surround us.
West End historian Janet Leduc will begin a regular feature titled "Developing Stories" in which, each month, she will bring us the full story of one of the current or proposed West End development projects and keep us up to speed on the status of applications and hearings for many others.
Hearings & Applications
As an example of the information we will be providing each month in our new "Developing Stories" feature, here are some updates.
1448 Robson Street. Current site of the Empire Landmark Hotel. Proposed development includes a 31 and 32 storey mixed-use building, 63 social housing units, and 237 market units. The application is schedule to go to the Development Permit Board on July 10. Application details here.
1500 Robson Street. Current site of the Blue Bella Pocha Korean Bar. Proposed development includes a 21 storey mixed-use building with 127 secured market rental units. Scheduled to go before the Development Permit Board July 10. Application details here. A community open house will be held with the applicant team and City staff on Wednesday, May 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Crystal Ballroom West of the Empire Landmark Hotel (1400 Robson). Open house information here.