Vancouver councillors weigh in on closure of Chinatown's Kent's Kitchen
Vancouver city councillors say the closure of Kent's Kitchen will be a tremendous loss for the community.
This week, the beloved restaurant in Chinatown announced it will be closing its doors for good next month.
Kent's Kitchen has been a staple in the community for decades, offering affordable food to people from all walks of life.
It's believed that the restaurant is closing down because its rent is going up by 30 per cent due to property taxes rising by 10.7 per cent this year.
Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung says one of her government’s challenges is the city’s scope of control.
"Certainly the rent is beyond our abilities—something that is charged by landlords, by the market—but we are trying to drive as many customers and people into the area," she explained.
Kirby-Yung says the city is investing millions of dollars into revitalizing the neighbourhood.
"I think there are some really bright lights on the horizon for Chinatown. We've got the opening of the Chinese Canadian Museum which is slated to open on Canada Day," she said.
The announcement of the restaurant's closure has left the community devastated and hopeful that more can be done to protect businesses like Kent's Kitchen.
Councillor Pete Fry worries the loss of the business will put a lot of financial strain on people.
"There’s not a lot of good affordable food options in the neighbourhood. There’s a lot of overpriced shops," said Fry.
"Kent's Kitchen was one of those back strapping institutions that really helped feed a lot of folks in the neighbourhood with good quality affordable food," he continued.
Fry says it's unlikely the city can do much to save the business within a month.
CTV News tried reaching out to the owner of Kent's Kitchen but has yet to hear back.
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