Parks Board green-lights Cactus Club in English Bay
Published Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:27AM PDT
Vancouver Parks Board staff say a new bistro on one of Vancouver's most popular beaches will help tackle a recent $2.8 million cut from its annual budget.
The board approved a plan six to one to replace the old concession stand at English Bay at a meeting Monday night. The new Cactus Club will be located near Denman and Davie streets on English Bay's old concession site.
The restaurant's main floor would cover 4,212 sq. ft and would include outdoor seating space and a concession stand with less expensive, take out meals. Cactus Club will pay the board a guaranteed base rent, plus four per cent of all revenue over $4 million.
Revenue will be $1.2 million over five years, according to a March 12 report. Board member Aaron Jasper told CTV News the money will be a great boost for local parks.
"Here's an opportunity for us to walk away with $240,000 a year in rent at a minimum that we get to put back into those very programs and services," he said Monday night.
Jasper said he believes people will be pleased with the new design. "It'll enhance the experience of English Bay," he said.
But the West End Residents Association has some concerns with the restaurant, including the privatization of public space and the traffic they believe it will bring to the area.
"WERA does not welcome more cars to the West End," WERA's John Whistler wrote in his presentation to the park board on Monday. "There are already too many, and many motorists are disrespectful of the West End neighbourhood."
Instead, WERA wants the park board and English Bay Bistro to encourage patrons to walk, cycle or take public transit.
"It worked with the Olympics, it can work with English Bay," he said.
The kind of proposal to install a corporate restaurant on a Vancouver beach has generated much controversy in the past.
People packed no fewer than 19 public hearings – many lasting for days -- in a bid to block the development of an upscale restaurant and bistro, Watermark, on Kits Beach.
Construction on the new bistro is expected to begin after Labour Day and be completed by June 2011.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber and files from Cheryl Minn