All that Mystery and then This


For a few weeks now, the space previously occupied by the Book Warehouse on 4th Avenue (the Book Warehouse moved to 3066 West Broadway) has been boarded up with simple, purple painted plywood. No advertising, no "coming soon…" announcements. Just a purple haze of mystery. Nobody I asked seemed to know what was going in. I even bet my wife that Caffe Artigiano was finally coming to Kitsilano. But no, the disappointment couldn’t be greater. Today I walked by again and the purple wood has now been covered with a huge Reitmans announcement. Ugh. I guess I just won myself toilet cleaning duty.

Last modified: August 21, 2007

6 Responses to " All that Mystery and then This "

  1. Angie says:

    Ugh indeed. What waste of a space! Interesting move for Reitman’s though.

  2. Karen says:

    Reitmans is trying hard to make their label hip but I don’t know anybody that shops there other than my Mom. Ha. They won’t last long.

  3. Tamara says:

    Hah! That’s awesome! Maybe it’s so un-hip that it’s actually hip and irreverent to shop there now?

    I’m not too cool to go in and see what they have. 🙂

  4. steph says:

    Chalk it up to the success of the street. Rents have shot up, and cool new shops can’t afford to pay $60/ft++. Landlords who don’t care and have no vision of a cool Kits. The property is an investment and Reitman’s will overpay to give the greedy bastards the return they want.

    But sadly (to disagree with a previous post) Reitmans will outlast many shops on the street. Publicly traded and with tons of cash on the books, they can sit and lose cash for a long time. They just donated $20 Million dollars to the Toronto Film Fest (trying to BUY cool maybe?) and second quarter profits doubled to $32.1 Million. So they can stay a looooonnnng time. It’s sad. But they’re trying to rebuild their “hip” banner store (name escapes me), a sub-chain that’s been underperforming. They’ll likely get it right eventually and they’ll need to have the right leases tied up to ensure success.

    It reminds me a bit of when Starbucks opened on The Drive…. everyone was bitching but years later the overpriced cliche Americanized coffee bar is wildly successful there. The masses don’t care. Yes Kits has a cool vibe but that’s what is attracting uncool retailers…. Kit’s is a victim of it’s own success. Big retailers know that not everyone in the neighbourhood is cool, hip, indie, etc. And they don’t want those shoppers anyway. Reitman’s doesn’t want the cool girls…. they want the masses of uncool who exist in Kits but you never notice them because they’re not hip enough.


    ps. Watch for another sad chain to take over the Koolhaus space on 4th and Yew. Gap? Abercrombie? H & M? (yes, H&M sucks too…sorry.)

  5. Ariane C says:

    Wanna know? Le Crapeau is coming into that lovely old building just vacated by Koolhaus. The house of Kool has definitely left Kits and the very UN-kool Le Chateau will grace our lovely ‘hood soon enough. Eee-gads.

  6. les says:

    You already have a great cafe in Kits!

    The former owner of Caffe Artigiano opened up 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters on 4th Ave between Arbutus and Vine.

    Best coffee in the city!