Davie Village landmark Hamburger Mary's getting a $1-million makeover

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      A longstanding Davie Village hangout is getting a major upgrade.

      Hamburger Mary's Diner, a focal point for the West End's LGBT community, is one of the last late-night Davie Street eateries around since the days of the Fresgo Inn and Doll & Penny's in the 1980s.

      Owner Phil Moon, who also opened up Davie Street institutions Numbers Cabaret, Oasis, and Fountainhead Pub, bought the late-night diner four months ago. Located at at 1202 Davie Street, the restaurant sits at the intersection of the rainbow crosswalks and kitty-corner from Qmunity.  

      "The reason I bought it was to save it for this community," Moon said by phone. "I'm 77 years old. I didn't have to buy this to try and save it for this community but I did for the simple reason I don't want another sushi bar on this corner."

      The restaurant, which is not related to the U.S. chain with the same name, will close on Sunday (March 15) for renovations.

      City of Vancouver communications coordinator Jag Sandhu confirmed on March 12 that the establishment has filed an application for a permit for renovations but it has not been approved yet.

      Moon stated that he's spending $1 million on a "complete redo".

      "It'll have the best equipment and the best kitchen in all the city," he promised.

      He added that he will hire all staff back when it reopens. He expects the renovations to take about two months to do.

      As for the menu, Moon said that it will feature many of the same offerings as it currently has, which includes burgers and milkshakes, but with upgraded quality on par with the likes of Milestones.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/StraightLGBT.



      Moebius Stripper

      Mar 13, 2015 at 12:09pm

      <i>"I did for the simple reason I don't want another sushi bar on this corner."</i>

      It is gratifying to see that even in this enlightened multicultural city, there are still wealthy businessmen willing to spend $1M just to prevent Japanese restaurants from opening.


      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:07pm

      Oh good. Another Milestones. But at least it's not sushi, right?

      Sixth sense

      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:09pm

      It is gratifying to see that social justice babies aren't losing their knack for turning everything into a race issue to further their pathetic agenda. :)


      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:15pm

      Maybe he was doing it to preserve a range of food options?

      Holy Crap

      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:25pm

      Doll & Penny's....I totally forgot about that place!

      Moebius Stripper

      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:44pm

      Yeah, it's probably just to preserve a range of food options, hence turning the place into a clone of a chain with three locations in downtown Vancouver alone. It's sooooo hard to get burgers and milkshakes in this city. Phil Moon: defender of local character.


      Mar 13, 2015 at 3:59pm

      It'll be interesting to see what happens

      Pup Luvyvr

      Mar 13, 2015 at 4:25pm

      so much negative. Moebius Stripper! Mr Moon is to be commended that he is once again putting money into a wonderful nieborhood such as ours even though there are a certain percentage that feel entitled and never have anything nice to say.

      Thank You Phil Moon for saving that corner. We all know it's a thankless job and we all no you have done a great job even though even I have used you as a target due to immaturity.

      You have shaped gay history in Vancouver in amazing ways and my life has been truly blessed because of it.

      Thank you.


      Mar 13, 2015 at 4:39pm

      How is taking one of the village's most historic and eclectic eateries and turning it into another generic cookie-cutter restaurant perserving food options? There already is another Milestones-esque chain restaurant half a block down the street... and it's empty.


      Mar 13, 2015 at 4:45pm

      Funny how there is no mention of the fact that Phil Moon has stated publicly, multiple times, he is not keeping it a diner.