Jimi Hendrix haunts Vie’s Chicken and Steak House

In a tiny building behind the Creekside Student Residence at 796 Main Street sits a huge piece of rock history. Vincent Fodera was visiting a 2003 exhibit at Seattle’s Experience Music Project when he noticed some personal mail addressed to the boarded-up 207 Union Street property he purchased along with Creekside. It turns out that from 1950 until 1976 it was known as Vie’s Chicken and Steak House, where Jimi Hendrix’s grandmother Nora worked as the cook. “She lived down on East Georgia Street,” Fodera told the Straight. “Jimi’s parents would bring him from Seattle and dump him here.”

Fodera tracked down neighbours who remembered hearing the teenage Hendrix practising after hours at Vie’s. They told him: “After the army he tried to live in Vancouver and played nightclubs in Hogan’s Alley. His father told him, ”˜Vancouver people don’t like the blues, don’t waste your time.’ ”

Fodera has remodelled the building to look like Vie’s again and is holding a grand opening of his “shrine” on Monday (July 20), complete with a Hendrix look-alike contest. “People are starved for history in Vancouver, and I just want them to know and remember,” he said.

Comments

We're now using Facebook for comments.

8 Comments

James C. Johnstone

Sep 24, 2009 at 9:38am

Great article and wonderful story... I am all for a Jimi Hendrix shrine in the little red brick building but it was not Vie's Chicken and Steak House. That stood next door in what is now the empty lot to the east of the building in question at 209 Union.

For those who want to know more about the real location of Vie's Chicken and Steak House, please read my blog at
http://househistorian.blogspot.com/2009/09/207-union-jimi-hendrix-some.html

gerry polman

Dec 12, 2009 at 5:23pm

I remember Vie's very well and it was in the house next door to the little red brick building. That house is gone now and whether or not the little red brick building had any association with Vie's remains to be shown, and it certainly isn't shown by what is likely some mis-addressed mail.

kerry kolodiazny

Jun 5, 2011 at 12:02pm

Nora Hendrix lived on east Pender.

Kelly Kolodiazny

Jul 11, 2011 at 11:24pm

That can be verified by David Kearney (aka Guitar Shorty). His wife is Jimi's sister...She could give alot of insight on the time Jimi spent in Vancouver...

Vincent Fodera owner

Apr 6, 2012 at 11:02pm

I spent 2 years renovating and 11 years in the block I had so many old neighbors and even Fred who built the addictions telling me that this also was part of Vie,s chicken inn and even if the house is gone the building left was used for various use of the restaurant ,storage and even rehearsal space for jimi when he was setting up a band in Vancouver he even slept there and the was cover with a lean to the main building so they could sit extra people in the summer it was all rented by Vie for different use as it was one property this how old neighbors and relatives that have been coming around late remember it ,and also this is how I discovered were Ross Hendrix the grandfather is buried in Ocean view cemetery in Barnaby and I plan to put a plaque on is grave which did not have and with help of donations by visitors of the shrine We are honored to have the grandfather of Jimi Hendrix buried in Vancouver and Nora buried in Seattle cemetery next to the grandson Ross deserve a nice tum stone we hope to have in place this summer Vincent the creator of the Jimi Hendrix shrine

Robert

Apr 25, 2014 at 5:22pm

Who was Vie and what became of her?

Martin Dunphy

Apr 25, 2014 at 5:49pm

Robert:

Not sure, but she and her husband, Robert Moore, opened Vie's in 1948 and shut it down in 1980.
I ate there a few times in the 1970s, when I first hitchhiked out as a teen, and later my family and I lived in an East End co-op with one of Hendrix's aunts, Pearl Brown, who was blind and an accomplished gospel, blues, and R&B singer.
She died about 14 or so years ago. She recorded a CD called Black Cultured Pearl with Wynton Marsalis (he visited the co-op and she cooked him fried chicken and collard greens).

Sam Calbick

Aug 3, 2014 at 11:56am

Bob and Vie lived on 4th ave close to Renfrew st.My wife and I were invited to a garden party one Sunday along with about another 100 guest"s.About 4 o-clock a limo pulled up to the front and out steps the guest of honor "EARL GRANT", whom I will add,six of us had gone to his "WONDERFUL" show the night before at the CAVE SUPPER CLUB.The Moores were a lovely couple and Vie"s (in my eating experience}served the best Sirloin Steak in Van.at the time. PS. Almost forgot,"THE HOME-MADE BUISCUTS."