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The Cambie lives: Iconic Vancouver dive bar no longer slated to close
VANCOUVER - The oldest bar in Vancouver isn't ready to shut off the taps just yet.
The owners of The Cambie announced Wednesday that the iconic dive bar will continue operating at its current location, even though the property changed hands earlier this year.
"We really didn't think it would be possible to keep the business alive after the property was sold," Sally Negus, owner of Cambie Malones Group, said in a statement. "But we are so happy to announce that we did it!"
Word of The Cambie's pending closure spread throughout the service industry back in June, prompting regular and former patrons to reminisce about their experiences at the historic Gastown bar.
The Robertson brothers, John and Bruce, spent much of their 20s at the Cambie after moving to B.C. from Ontario.
"Back to the days when we were broke, burger and brew for five bucks, who didn’t love that?" reminisced John. "After we were done shopping, this would always be the place we wound up on Christmas Eve -- it was sort of a tradition."
Other patrons also remarked how they spent much of their 20s at the old watering hole.
"It's just a great place to meet people. It's a social place and they've got cheap beer," Dave Lumluy chuckled. "I'm estatic that it's going to be open, hopefully, for an indefinite period of time."
The Cambie's liquor licence dates all the way back to 1897, making it the longest-operating pub in Vancouver. The building, which is located at Cambie and Cordova streets, was rebuilt shortly after the 1886 fire that destroyed much of the city.
"It's been around for 122 years and it's been in my family for 25 years now," Negus said. "Between raising my children here and being surrounded by staff who operate as a family, The Cambie has served as a second home to many people. It brings me great joy to announce that the doors will stay open and the legend will live on."
The property was sold in May as part of a divorce proceeding, but Cambie Malones Group said a long-term lease has been signed with the new owners that will allow the bar to stay open "for the foreseeable future without any anticipated interruptions or changes to service."
The Cambie hostel located upstairs will also continue operating, the company said.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Angela Jung