English Bay may see new cafe on old concession site
Published Monday, March 22, 2010 8:16PM PDT
English Bay may see an influx of guests if the Vancouver Park Board votes in favour of building a new bistro Monday night.
The so-called English Bay Bistro would be run by Cactus Club and located near Denman and Davie Streets on English Bay's old concession site.
"I'm very confident it'll pass," Park Board chairman Aaron Jasper told ctvbc.ca. "It's a nice dining experience, it fits in well in terms of the design and it means extra revenue for park programs."
Revenue from the bistro will be $1.2 million over five years, which would come from the restaurant's set rent of $240,000 a year, according to a March 12 Vancouver Parks & Recreation report.
"Residents in the area are concerned about the restaurant [because] people haven't seen the design -- is it a big building? Is it small? Is it on the beach? Is it not on the beach? -- so obviously there's concern," Jasper said.
The proposed size of the restaurant's main floor is 4,212 sq. ft., according to the March 12 report.
The restaurant will also include a concession stand with less expensive, take-out meals.
"When people see the design, I think they'll be pleased," Jasper said. "It'll enhance the experience of English Bay."
But the West End Residents Association has some concerns with the restaurant.
"Our organization has some issues with the privatization of public space," said John Whistler of WERA.
The group does not want the restaurant to bring increased traffic to the area.
"WERA does not welcome more cars to the West End," 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 group also wants the restaurant to be affordable and family-friendly so all English Bay visitors can enjoy it.
"We're a little concerned with affordability because that's an important part of the West End," Whistler said. "And we want it to be a family environment. We don't need another sports bar."
If the board votes in favour of the English Bay Bistro, construction will begin after Labour Day and be completed in June 2011.