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.