There was a long line-up at the Bao Chau Vietnamese Restaurant located at 2717 East Hastings on Sunday, November 21, 2021. For some of the patrons, this may have been their last meal at this establishment. This restaurant has served the community for over 29 years and it is set to close sometime around the end of November (this could be as early at the 25th according to a patron). The neighbouring Slocan Restaurant just closed its door about a week ago. The Slocan Restaurant had been in operation since 1974.
The restaurants and the entire building will be replaced by a mixed 6-storey commercial and rental project that was approved at a Public Hearing by the majority on Council back on July 23, 2020. At the Public Hearing, a number of speakers voiced their concerns about the ongoing gentrification of their neighbourhood. In a 6-storey development one block to the east at Kaslo, two restaurant chains have established storefronts (a Dairy Queen and a Tim Hortons).
Here a couple of open questions to ponder: are there are opportunities for small local businesses to be established in new buildings such as the one slated for 2735 East Hastings? Is it is even possible to replace restaurants like the Bao Chau and The Slocan in the current retail climate?