(The Waldorf, 1952)
BY Mia Stainsbypast.
Life, lived long, accumulates abounding rams of memory.
Is it any admiration aback I put out a alarm for memories of restaurants past, I got added than 60 replies. Some of them accustomed handwritten in the ancient way by Canada Post. One letter began: “Going aback about 75 years….”
Some accustomed with photos and some with menus. “As you can see, my wife never threw annihilation out,” said one gentleman, who included postcards of restaurants bought on his 1950 amusement in Vancouver.
In one confessionary letter, a woman appear her bedmate looked uncannily like Bill Vander Zalm aback he was premier. They queue-jumped abounding times at On On restaurant in Chinatown acknowledgment to mistaken identity. “I shamefully accept to accomplishing annihilation to abash this misunderstanding,” she wrote. “We absence the On On.” I anticipate it’s safe to out you, Carol Curry. Any alternation jumping aback the Zalm has been aback in the news?
Ross Regan beatific a photo of himself with accompany at the Empire Bistro in 1948 taken by a acquaintance who happened to be a Vancouver Sun columnist at the time. They all congenital cabins on the Mountain, accustomed accessories and aliment on their backs, he said.
Frances Smith beatific addition allotment of Vancouver Sun memoribilia: a photo of the aboriginal “paper girls”in the city, actuality feted at the Hotel Vancouver. “My sister and I and our two neighbour sisters were the aboriginal cardboard girls in the city,” she said. “They had a big feast at the Hotel Vancouver honouring the cardboard carriers and they took a photo of us as we were the aboriginal girls.”
(Frances Smith, aboriginal from right.)
“I don’t do emails,” 80-year-old Bonnie Byrne said on the telephone. Angry out she is an amateur (still is) and aback in her day, she appeared in TV commercials for the Developed Alexandra (a amphibian restaurant at the bottom of Cardero) and Puccini’s in Vancouver.
A admirer started off cogent me about alive at the iconic Aristocratic restaurant and marrying a approved chump but veered into descriptions of the appearance from his Richmond home. “What the heck all of the aloft has to do with your absorbing article, I don’t apperceive but aback I get started, I’m like the Eveready batteries [so he meant Duracell or Energizer – so what!] and aloof accumulate activity and going.” As I said, lots of ram. (Thank you, Ken Yorke.)
Those were canicule aback Mitzi Gaynor and Frankie Avalon meant article and servers were alleged waitresses and waiters. There was added than one adventure of a memorable waitress with a big heart.
Some belief were rakish, some charming, some could become a atypical (check out the access about the bootlegging grandmother) but all acutely savoured their memories of restaurants past. With relish.
These are downloads of some of their memories from Vancouver’s past.
BY Mia Stainsby
“[John’s Pizzarama] was amid at 2676 West Broadway (Regent 6-9019) and the waitresses wore atramentous base net stockings and micro skirts. On one appointment the waitress larboard us to accessible a canteen of Baby Duck and in the action I accidentally attempt the cork several booths over area it landed on addition table’s pizza. They all stood up to see area it came from and it angry out they were accompany of my parents.” – Angus McIntyre.
“One of the BEST Italian apartment that anytime WAS, was on Seymour Street, beyond from the Penthouse Cabaret for years. The ‘old house’ alleged Iaci’s was there for decades until the backward ‘80s and served the brand of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. in their aboriginal days. Alike the brand of Sonny & Cher and Mitzi Gaymor were audience because of the BEST Italian aliment that could be begin in Vancouver aback in those years. Mrs. Iaci did the affable in her own kitchen, Grandma adapted the aperitive dogie on a copse stove in the basement, you ate in their dining allowance and active allowance out advanced and if you wished, you could eat in a berth they had appropriate in the kitchen. We ate there about every Friday night afore branch out to some of the hot spots in boondocks like Pharoah’s Retreat, Oil Can Harry’s, Elegant Parlour.” – Walter Kynnap
“I’ve lived in Vancouver aback 1971 and I do accept abounding affable memories from the years gone by, some anecdotal to me afterwards the actuality aback my anamnesis had achromatic for evening. My two best approved establishments from the mid- to backward 70s were Chez Joel in Gastown and the aboriginal Il Corsaro on Bartering Dr. Joel consistently had circadian cafeteria specials for $3.75. [Boeuf] bourguignon or lamb chops or whatever, and on Fridays, sole bon femme. Alike aback I had pleurisy I managed to clamber out of bed to accept cafeteria there best days. That’s adherence for you.
“Back in ‘95, I was adopted to The Bayshore for a few weeks and my apartment became my de facto appointment and Le Gavroche was my twice-daily cafe. In those canicule I would adjustment two capital courses to go on one plate. I was aggravating for the Orson Welles look. I anticipate it was working. At one point, my tab was over 1,500 bucks. Not too bare for those canicule and that was me bistro on my own.
“The buyer of La Raclette, which was on West Broadway, arrive the Charlie Mingus Bandage and me to his abode for dinner. All he capital in acknowledgment was a active archetype of the latest LP and a brace of tickets to the appearance at the Roller Amphitheatre in North Vancouver. Aback in those days, I would consistently booty groups like Queen, Rod Stewart, Bran Van 3000 to Joel’s, La Cote d’Azur, Il Giardino, La Cantina, and Aki’s on Powell. If you can accept it, Genesis and AC/DC were the aboriginal association to about-face me assimilate sushi aback in those days. 1976 to 85 were for me, a historically impressive, booze-soaked, Maalox-coated access of time that can never be repeated. I am a chief aborigine now and I augment the birdies in my aback garden.” – Mike O’Keeffe, promotions and artisan relations for Warner Brothers and an indie sales rep.
(Mick O’Keeffe, left, with Eddie Cortes of Cote d’Azur.)
“During the 1950s a acquaintance and I would booty a bus from New Westminster to Vancouver every Sunday to appear St. James Anglican Abbey on East Cordova and Gore. It was a actual colourful airing from the old bus annex to the church. The money we adored by not demography the bus was usually handed over to panhandlers forth the way. We would usually be accompanied by the able-bodied music of the Salvation Army bandage on its advance to their temple on East Hastings at Gore. The Anglican Abbey had a aphorism at that time that if you were activity to accomplish your accord in the morning, you had to fast afterwards midnight. As a aftereffect we would consistently be dog-hungry aback the accumulation was over at 10:30 a.m. We anon rushed to the Ovaltine Bistro [which still exists on East Hastings St.] for breakfast as did abounding added parishioners. We had acknowledgment and coffee for 10 cents. The acknowledgment was about bisected an inch blubbery and decrepit with butter. If you capital added than one confined of jam, you had to pay an added penny. The owner, a actual aggressive Chinese, was able to put his son through university with his earnings. [That son became a judge.]” – Betty Vogel.
“In the mid-50s, aback alive at a artisan at CBC-TV studios downtown, during a supper breach or afterwards work, I’d go with a acquaintance to Love’s Cafe. [Another place], the Elbow Allowance was a tiny coffee boutique on Jervis, amid Georgia and Alberni, frequented by us TV folk. It was originally run by Edna, a charming, able developed who gave abroad extra bakery articles aloof afore closing. Later, a Prairie brace ran it into the ground. Then, some gay men took it over, adopting prices hardly and quality, highly. The architecture is still there as allotment of a redevelopment. [And the Elbow Allowance continues on Davie St., run by the colourful Patrick Savoie.] – Harry Taylor.
“The aboriginal restaurant that aggressive any awe was the White Lunch. In the aphotic and backing streets of Vancouver’s winter, the hundreds of neon lights brought a aflame of beauty. The bleared coffee cup [a neon sign], with the abstracts walking about on the saucer were lit up invitingly. The actuality that alone white bodies were apparent in there did not hit my radar; best of the apple was white, except in Chinatown. In afterwards years, as adolescence naivete bald away, the abhorrence of a ‘whites only’ enactment dawned on me in a way that brought bit-by-bit revulsion.” – Allen Aicken
“Going aback about 75 years (I am now 88), our ancestors of bristles would go for feast to the Melrose Cafe, aloof west of Granville on the south ancillary of Hastings. Dad would adjustment bristles full-course commons for 25 cents each. Alike in those days, it was adamantine to believe, buy true!” – Wally Thomsett
“As a adolescent boy, my complete favourite was a restaurant a brace doors bottomward from Scott’s Cafe. I anticipate it was alleged the Airliner [it was absolutely Clancy’s Sky Diner]. It had the appendage area of a bartering sized aircraft bulging out from the restaurant and partially bulging over the sidewalk. Inside forth the walls, affective backdrop anesthetized by ellipsoidal portholes. Every time I went I had apricot bloom which consisted of a accomplished can of apricot on a bed of lettuce. My mom consistently had a shrimp salad.” – Harvie Davidson.
“In 1957, I accustomed in Vancouver from the Netherlands with $25. I went to the application appointment and they beatific me to the Avenue Barbecue in Kerrisdale area they bare a waitress. I had no acquaintance but they let me try and I backward there for six months, earning $25, alive 48 hours per week..I got forth actual able-bodied with the barter which benefitted me in altered ways. The bounded barber, absent to apprentice how to cut women’s hair, gave me chargeless haircuts. The administrator of the bounded cine abode asked me to advice booty bodies to their seats with a flashlight, so I got to see movies for for free. Addition chump gave me clothes and shoes of his asleep wife (which eventually, I gave to the Salvation Army). Sunday was consistently a active day afterwards the hockey players came from the ice amphitheatre to accept breakfast. Unbelievable how abundant they could eat. Avenue Barbecue is still in business in Kerrisdale but not as a cafe, added as a higher-end restaurant.” – Genzien Brigham
“Your adventure got us cerebration about The Waterfront Corral which acclimated to be on Heatley and Powell in the backward ‘70s. It was a absolutely different alehouse with alive bands, abundant dancing. We’d all go bottomward there afterwards accepting off our accouterment alive nights at the Four Seasons Hotel. The coolest allotment was the kitchen, tucked abroad in the back, run by a little old Greek developed alleged Mama. You had to go into the kitchen to order, afresh she’d accompany it out and aggregate the money. Adding to the atmosphere, the abode was a little scary, consistently abounding with characters. We had our aboriginal ball there, 32 years ago to Six Canicule on The Road. Abundant memories.” – Paul and Barb O’Neil
“I admired the Beachcomber which was amid at 1049 West Georgia. It was huge and alien as hell for the time and a absolute atom for a date. It was allotment of a Canadian alternation of Polynesian restaurants. The Polynesian affair was big in Vancouver in the ‘60s. We additionally had the Waldorf Hotel and Trader Vic’s at the Bayshore Inn in the aforementioned era. The Beachcomber’s décor was amazing – it was arranged to the rafters with tikis, bamboo and rattan furniture, carved lath masks and thatching. The drinks were aperitive – blithely coloured, bathetic affair with Hawaiian/Polynesian capacity and active with flowers and the all-over cardboard parasol.” – Lynne McNamara
“My dad played poker with Peter George (owner of Peter’s Ice Chrism on West Broadway) and Rod Foot, the buyer of Dunkers (or Dunkin’) Donuts on the bend of Davie and Thurlow, a actual accepted abode that had the doughnut-making apparatus in the advanced window. Kids would watch the doughnut pop bottomward out of a alembic into a affective clue of hot oil. They’d go into the restaurant to put on their own icing, nuts, etc. Rod Aliment bought the Lincoln or Caddy limo that transported Queen Elizabeth in Vancouver in 1951 and brought it about to our abode in the 4000 block West 34th and all the kids in the neighbourhood, including my sister and I, took turns sitting in the aback bench and abrading our bums area the Queen had sat.” – John Kirk
“[At Frank Baker’s Restaurant] the funniest night occurred aback my grandmother was visiting from Toronto. Now you charge to accept my grandmother was not your boilerplate gal..As the music commenced, Frank Baker was not arena his trumpet but milling amidst the diners and chatting bodies up. My grandmother alleged him over, apparently adage article like “Hey you!” and insisted he ball with me. I was 10, abashed and clumsy. The awkward moment got worse as he did, in fact, advance me to the attic to dance..You can brainstorm how beholden I am that Facebook had yet to be invented. That is my anamnesis of a best aces dining experience.” – Elaine Jameson
“We were abutting accompany with Giusseppe Gentille, who endemic Italian Village and the admirable Casa D’Italia on Hornby beyond from the Cave Supper Club, aback in 1966. I had my 18th altogether affair at Casa D’Italia. Afterwards I played piano in the restaurant, I served block to Mitzi Gaynor and Frankie Avalon, who were bistro that night at the restaurant. Frankie came and abutting me at our table and arrive me to his appearance at The Cave the afterward night, which I did, adequate a admirable ring-side table and a actual adventurous black – a admonition of how night activity was absolutely absurd and bottomward to apple aback then.” – Ellis Charlotte Pereda Tholen
“I had never been in the adorned dining allowance of the aboriginal White Atom at 67th and Granville, but would adjustment from the take-out window. Aback friends’ parents had cars, I’d adjustment the allegorical burger and fries, Triple O, and Coke which came to the car. You angry your lights on for account and about-face them on afresh aback you were accessible to leave. Your aliment came out on blooming trays placed on the window ledges of the car. The Triple O aback afresh were the absolute accord – it meant bags of mayo and relish. Today, if anyone knows what Triple O means, it doesn’t advice that the cooks and servers don’t accept a clue. I had tears in my eyes aback I heard the aboriginal White Atom burnt down.” – Anita Hayes, who lived abreast the aboriginal White Atom as a child.
“My grandmother ran a restaurant on Granville St. in the 1930s and 40s by the name of The Belmont Restaurant. As a adolescent adolescent (born in 1938) I would appointment her there. She would booty me in the kitchen, sit me bottomward and accord me a augment of raw oysters, taken from a bean crock, which I enjoyed actual much. Aback she bought a new car, my uncle accomplished her how to drive. They went about the block and aback she pulled up in advanced of the restaurant, she stepped on the gas instead of the anchor and collection through the window of the abundance abutting door. She never collection again. She came from a mining boondocks in Alberta with the owners of the then-Penthouse, with $5,000 in her abridged which she fabricated through bootlegging in the mining town. Vancouver was their best over Chicago.” – Robin Stoddard, who would adulation any belief or photos of the restaurant
“Fifty years ago, we were newlyweds, two adolescent bodies in our aboriginal twenties from two about baby towns in Ontario, active in the big burghal of Vancouver. What a big amusement it was to go out one black to the Top of the Towers dining allowance at the Georgian Towers area three courses, sherry consomme, prime rib with all the trimmings and ice chrism with crème de menthe fabricated us feel like royalty, all for the baronial sum of $5. Afterwards, we went aback to our Volkswagen Bug in the parking lot alone to acquisition we could not get into either aperture as association on both abandon anchored too close. My bedmate ‘bounced’ the Bug over inches at a time until he could clasp into the driver’s side, aback out and let me board.” – Mary Newman
“As a cub anchorman at CKWX radio, amid in the aboriginal ‘60s on Burrard St., my favourite restaurant was the Peter Pan on Granville St. Alone two restaurants boasted Louisiana prawns – Xavier Hexman’s restaurant at The Bayshore and The Pan beneath the administration of the admired Peter Pantages. Addition favourite was the steak and Johnston potatoes (pan-fired potatoes alloyed with onions and briefly seared on the barbecue afore serving). In those days, aback you ordered a steak, you had to accord the waitress a dollar drop to awning the amount of the appropriate wooden-handled steak knives, the alone way the girls could stop assertive assemblage from walking out the aperture with them hidden in a abridged or handbag.” – Jim Macdonald
“In 1947, I was 12 and my abundant earlier earlier brother was demography affliction of me while my mother was away. One evening, he said ‘Come on, we’re activity burghal for supper’. We went to Oscar’s King Size Steaks on the southwest bend of Georgia and Burrard beyond from the Vancouver Hotel. We ordered the king-sized steaks. In those days, they didn’t serve blubbery steaks. They were usually about a bisected to three abode of an inch blubbery but the King-size was a porterhouse that abounding a feast plate. Aback served, the freeholder said, “Well, little boy, if you can eat that accomplished steak, I’ll buy you the better bag of bonbon in Vancouver. I was built-in during the Depression and acreage raised. One ate aggregate on one’s plate. I was aloof about accomplished aback I saw him staring at me through the account opening. He didn’t appear back. I didn’t get any candy. However, it was a abundant steak.” – Ronald Stewart
“There were so abounding acceptable places to eat, some of them alms dishes no best accessible as far as I know. From The White Cafeteria with its oolichans to the CPR Station restaurant with Winnipeg goldeye. The dining allowance at the Gifford Hotel on Robson St was good, inexpensive, breezy and a favourite of Australians touring. The audience acclimated to get their own coffee, go into the kitchen and advice themselves to dessert, and accept it or not, arena up their own tabs on the banknote register, pay, and alike booty change.” – Ron Stern
“A lot of my favourite memories are from the mid-70s. Dining at the Wharf – so expensive! Ten dollars for steak and lobster tail! The Creperie on Thurlow and Robson for the best French crepes alfresco of Paris! And amber mousse! A appropriate feast at The Cannery where, in a arena out of a cartoon, I looked bottomward and said I saw article moving. I did not apprehend acceptance from my dining companion. Aback I won feast for two from a aggregation I was alive for, I took the guy I was dating to the Devonshire [Hotel]. How did I apperceive he was brought up in a barn? Afterwards he blew his adenoids into the bolt napkin and he asked the aide for “white death” (sugar) and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.” – Mary Oberquell
“This goes aback about 30 years aback I was arena acreage hockey for the Vancouver Rowing Club’s Jokers. Vie’s Chicken and Steak House, east of Capital at the arch was the Friday lunch-time area of our acreage hockey team. As I was to acquisition out, there was an admission commemoration for newcomers like me. There was abundant application about whether Vie should be asked to adapt her ‘special’ for me. You accept to account Vie, a somewhat shy attendance but her ambit and smile were too affecting not to feel absolutely adequate with annihilation she ability aftermath in the kitchen – which was why I was analytical adjoin her reluctance. But my accompany prevailed. Several account later, Vie returned, bright at the distinct bowl she captivated high. Aback she put the bowl bottomward in advanced of me, I about didn’t apprehend her apologize for what I was about to receive. And there it was, placed appropriate amid the mashed potatoes and beginning bloom – a agglomeration of affected dog doodoo.” – Robin Hill
“Every Saturday afternoon, in the backward Forties and aboriginal Fifties, my adherent Annie and I would booty the tram from Lulu Island to the big burghal of Vancouver. Annie would get on at Cottages Station (Williams Road) and I at Branscombe Station (Steveston Highway). First, we’d booty in a cine or two or three (sometimes two bifold features) at the Capitol, Orpheum, Plaza or The Paradise. By the time we staggered out of the aftermost movie, we were famished. In those days, there were abounding restaurants on Granville Street but our favourite was alleged Bistro Boheme on the west ancillary aloof south of Georgia. Bottomward the stairs and into this dungeon-like atmosphere with apparent pipes and heating ducts. The book was homestyle, eastern European perogies, banknote rolls – delicious! The day was continued and we usually bent the midnight tram home to our stations area our Dads were cat-and-mouse to aces us up.” – Sylvia Kendall
“I formed at the Golden Horseshoe at Renfrew and Hastings from 1951 to 1955 while activity to aerial school. The Horseshoe was consistently active agriculture bodies who had abounding hockey games, wrestling, football, horse races, roller and ice skating, the PNE, Playland, horse, dog or cat shows, Empire Games, Shrine Circus and abounding added events. It had a drive-in, a coffee counter, academic and breezy dining areas and an on-site feast allowance with ball floor. The Chinese chefs were accomplished at Western dishes as able-bodied as Cantonese. Rotary pies were a big favourite. Those were the canicule of Police Chief Mulligan’s administration and it was not abnormal for there to be a clandestine poker bold in one of the aback rooms. We sometimes delivered ample Chinese aliment orders to locations hosting amphibian applesauce games. Police admiral were never asked to pay for their coffee or meals. The best time was afterwards 3 a.m. closing on Saturday night aback we could accompany the chefs in the kitchen and allotment the supper they able for themselves. Adorable and abstruse food! Jack Cullen did some of his radio broadcasts from the dining allowance on Friday nights. The Horseshoe was area I abstruse that best bodies are actual affectionate and affectionate to a kid aloof learning. The accomplished acquaintance confused me out of my shy, wary, cocky and gave me the aplomb to booty on abounding challenges.” – Helen Brown
“I bethink the Sky Diner on Granville with the aircraft setting. I lived aural walking ambit and my mother would accelerate me there to aces up a take-out accommodate of Honeydew – it was delicious. The Hudson’s Bay started to serve it at some point but it was never as good.” – Helen Hopkins.
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