The Vancouver Sun is reporting today that the success of Kit’s Watermark is the key reason for English Bay getting it’s own beach-side restaurant.
The success of the Watermark Restaurant on Kitsilano Beach is a key reason the Vancouver park board is proceeding with a new bistro on English Bay. Park board special projects director Jim Lowden said developing the Kits restaurant was “like birthing a brick” because of initial neighborhood opposition.
But the Watermark has done a brisk business and been accepted by the community, said Lowden. “So with that in mind, we are saying: Okay, we will proceed with our food plan.” The bistro project stems from a decision by the park board in 2006 to redevelop its concession food services to create new food services that would offer both table service and take-away facilities at prime locations in city parks.
The English Bay bistro is expected to cost between $5 million and $6 million and is being built adjacent to the bathhouse at Denman & Davie. The proposed 387-square-metre restaurant and concession would seat 118 outdoors and 75 indoors and include a take-out window.
Hopefully the City of Vancouver realizes the importance of picking the right private sector restaurant partner this time around. Considering the historal significance of this English Bay location, the obvious choices is Bud Kanke’s group. They’re responsible for Joe Fortes, which is named after English Bay’s self-appointed unpaid lifeguard that patrolled this same beach in the 1890s.
Last modified: June 12, 2008
It’s about time the city of Vancouver realizes that concessions stands are not what people want on the sea wall. Good restaurants and even pubs that offer a decent drink would make the sea wall much more exciting. I often go all the way to Cold Harbour instead of English Bay, because I know that I can pop into Cardero’s for a decent lunch.
Why on earth would I want a hot dog from a concession stand?
Well, first, it’s Coal, not Cold Harbour, and second, it’s exactly why people in the area are against this development – they like what the beach has to offer now. The posting in this article says the Watermark is a “success” – of course, if you measure success of a restaurant that people come, and they will; people like you will go these restaurants on the beach. But residents in the area who want to wander to the beach, pay nothing, and sit and watch the sunset will no longer have that luxury – instead they will be forced to listen to the noise of patrons, eating and drinking on the outside patio which, I assume, will also have music playing. My friends who visit say they can’t believe that in the middle of a city there’s a real beach, not a beach with resorts, casinos, restaurants – just a beach. Well, I’ll tell them now, that it’s gone.
Last time I checked, English Bay wasn’t exactly a quiet oasis of a beach. There’s already tons of noise from nearby traffic, screaming kids and belligerent drinkers. And it’s not like the restaurant is going to take up the entire beach area. We’ll still have plenty of room to sit for free and soak up the views. I actually think Watermark will help class up the area a bit. I enjoy a hot dog and fries on the beach as much as the next person. But it’s hard to relax when I have to deal with birds attacking me and dirty feet stepping all over my blanket. At least I’ll have a choice now of how to experience the beach at English Bay. And isn’t that what a democracy is all about – something for every preference?