Kitsilano redevelopment to displace Moderne Burger, Benny's Café, Kinome Japanese Kitchen, and Aria Florist

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      The redevelopment of a building at the 2500 block of West Broadway means that a number of well-known Kitsilano businesses will either have to relocate or close down, and one already has.

      City of Vancouver spokesperson Jag Sandhu told the Georgia Straight that a development permit application was submitted by Epta Properties on August 11 and approved with conditions on November 30 for the site. Once the conditions are satisfied, which the applicant is currently addressing, a permit will be issued for a four-storey mixed commercial and residential building, with 21 dwelling units and three ground-level retail stores.

      The impending project will affect four businesses: Aria Florist and Wedding Design (2501 West Broadway), Benny's Café (2505 West Broadway), Moderne Burger (2507 West Broadway), and Kinome Japanese Kitchen (2511 West Broadway).

      Aria Florist shop manager Michelle Chong told the Georgia Straight by phone that they vacated their premises in November, after over three years at that location. However, they are still operating and taking orders for flowers on their website as they continue their search for a new retail location. 

      Moderne Burger

      The restaurant owners either declined or postponed interview requests from the Georgia Straight, as they are uncertain of specific details at the moment. The owners are considering relocating their businesses, with the exception of Kinome, which will be closing by March.

      The split-level Benny's Café launched (as Benny's Bagels) its Kitsilano location in the late 1980s, just as Vancouver began to experience a rapid growth in the number of coffee shops and cafés (the first Starbucks to be located outside of Seattle opened in Vancouver in 1987). Like the former Calhoun's Bakery a few blocks away (which closed in January 2018), it often attracted UBC students for late-night study sessions.

      Moderne Burger

      Retro-style diner Moderne Burger gained a following over its 17 years in operation for their classic burgers and milkshakes, fresh cut fries, and freshly baked buns. Menu options include the likes of spiced ground turkey or wild salmon fillet burgers, in addition to milkshakes or malts featuring flavours like creamsicle, coffee mocha, or chocolate-covered cherry.

      Kinome Japanese Kitchen, formerly Dan Japanese Restaurant, offers a range of izakaya-style small plates, such as calamari karaage with yuzu yogurt or chopped kale and prawn kakiage tempura, accompanied by a sake and beer list.

      Asakusa soba at Kinome Japanese Kitchen
      Carolyn Ali

      Their speciality is their handmade soba (buckwheat noodles) available in three options: zaru soba (with a cold dipping sauce), asakusa soba (with tempura bits, green onion, radish, seaweed, and sesame), and kamo seiro soba (with a warm duck dipping sauce).

      Final dates for the restaurants at these locations have not been announced yet but the Georgia Straight will publish any further details when they become available.  

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook