Karv not making any late-night friends at West 1st and Yew


According to Jeremy Shepherd in the Vancouver Courier, a few residents are losing sleep over the recent extension of Karv‘s operating hours.

The Kitsilano restaurant and bar is located on West First Avenue and Yew Street and recently received approval from the city to stay open until 1:00am on weekdays and 2:00am on Friday and Saturday. It previously closed two hours earlier. The city recommended approval of the later hours on March 23rd following a meeting with Karv’s management.

To date at least five residents have complained about noise, garbage, fights and the reaction they say they received from the bar’s management.

Marty Levine across from Karv - photo: Dan Toulgoet

Marty Levine said he moved into a building across the street from Karv 18 months ago and as soon as the weather warmed the street was filled with loud, drunken people. “We find garbage strewn on our property… people trying to get into our courtyard to smoke pot and cigarettes,” he said.

Levine, who found Karv to be an “innocuous bar” when he had a drink there before moving in, said it’s the only neighbourhood bar creating a nightly disturbance.

Johnny Carroll, the manager of Karv, said the noise is reasonable and later hours are critical to any bar’s business. “These hours are the difference between closing your doors and turning a profit,” he said. “I’m not trying to keep anybody up, I’m trying to run a business.”

He said the noise was a natural by-product of an area zoned commercial and residential. “The streets become very busy in the summer. It’s probably one of the reasons you moved in,” he said.

Carroll said his patrons weren’t necessarily the ones making noise or fighting. “There’s nothing north of Cornwall Street,” he said, pointing out drinkers from other area bars walk past Karv after closing time in search of food. Karv is located next to a 24 hour convenience store Carroll called the “last depot to get your snacks.”

Neighbourhood bars Abigail’s Party and The King’s Head share the block with Karv. Levine said he can tell the difference between Karv’s patrons and people just passing through the area. Karv has a sign on its patio reminding patrons to respect neighbours by keeping quiet when they leave. While Levine blamed the owners of the bar for not having enough staff to quiet loud patrons, he put most of the responsibility elsewhere. “If I’m angry at anyone it’s the city… the residents are not getting deference,” he said.

Had the City done a little research here on Kitsilano.ca, they would have seen that Karv is a repeat offender and this unruly summer behavior by patrons dates back to 2006.

Last modified: April 23, 2010

17 Responses to " Karv not making any late-night friends at West 1st and Yew "

  1. Pete says:

    I live pretty close to Karv, the Kingshead and all those spots down on Yew. The fact of the matter is that these establishments produce loud, rowdy patrons, especially later into the night. This happens all over the city and it is up to prospective residents to research the area they are moving into before they buy a property. Me? I like the atmosphere of the neighborhood, and chose to live close to places like this for a reason. There are plenty of blocks in Kits that stay real quiet at night, and they’d probably cost you less.

  2. Mike Jones says:

    I agree with Pete.
    I also only live a block or two from Karv, and frequent the end of Yew st all the time for the nightlife.

    It is ridiculous that these places arent already open till 2 am or later. Abigail’s Party is currently the only place in the neighbourhood that has a late night license and it is packed every night till 2am – why would a bar like Karv or Kingshead have to kick out all of their very willing and paying customers @ 12:30 when we’d all happily spend our money much longer?

  3. Bill Barilko says:

    “This happens all over the city and it is up to prospective residents to research the area they are moving into before they buy a property.”

    My guess is that you’ve experienced very little of life in this city.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This application for an extension of hours is a last ditch attempt at survival…

  5. Sully says:

    Ok, first off, Karv is a solid establishment. Bobby and Johnny have the community’s best interest at heart. They also now have one of the best chefs in the city.

    There are 6 other restaurant and bars in the area and that is what makes this neighborhood. People walk up the hill at the end of the night so there will be some noise. The majority of people living in the neighborhood are young renters, and news flash, WE LIVE IN A CITY!!! A typical solution would be to close all bars and restaurants across the city and move them to Granville street, which has been the mentality of the city for the last 5 years or more.

    The garbage issue is not because of the restaurant. The residents and businesses in the area have been lobbying the city engineering department and council for a single garbage can on York and Yew for over two years now. Engineering have said that there isn’t enough foot traffic, but there is enough reason to have parking meters up and down street.

    In any event, this is not news and the Vancouver Courier’s article is simply elitist propaganda by a few people who foresee noise issues. There is no issue with Karv. Good Bevi’s, Good Eats. Good Times Always.

  6. Trucker Hat says:

    It’s well known to those in the area that Karv attracts a particular clientele – a rowdy, loud and trashy bunch. In any event, Karv is pretty much on its last legs – what with the arrival of Local down the street.

    P.S. Claiming that Karv has “one of the best chefs in the city” and that the Vancouver Courier is a publisher of “elitist propaganda”?? – that is some good weed you’re smoking, dude!

  7. sully says:

    Hey Trucker Hat.

    I am saying that the people pushing for that article has an elitist agenda, not the Vancouver Courier…and their NEW chef, Brodie Nutbrown, is one of the most respected in Vancouver who cares about his work. Don’t knock what you don’t know.

    And just so you know, Karv is doing fine so get used to it. Try supporting local establishments instead of judging them. That location has had a history of establishments that have failed and Karv has had success because they know what this neighborhood wants. Think of it this way, you could have a Donnelly Group nightclub in its place with a clubvibes party bus showing up once a week dropping off UBC students on a crawl. That is not Karv, and them extending their hours is not news.

    Yew Street has several eating and drinking establishments and people jump from place to place all the time. If you buy a condo or move into an apartment across the street from a pub, restaurant or bar and grill, you have to expect noise with people coming and going. Its called buyer beware. Its called we live in a city. There are many other quiet neighborhoods in Kitsilano and across this city and they are more then welcome to live there.

    Other cities across Canada have distinct neighborhoods that offer a variety of establishments and shops that make them unique. If we start to implement the premise of being lame, then we can go back to calling Vancouver “No Fun City” all over again. Its honestly not a big deal. Sunday – Thursdays open till 1am. If things are slow most bars will close early anyway, and Friday, Saturday being open till 2am is that status quo with 50 feet of them anyway. The reason they are open is for the time option for customers and it has to do with supply and demand. I’m for the little guy and most of the people in the neighborhood, including the other restaurateurs from what I am hearing are as well.
    Not News. Sorry. Please chill.

  8. vancityguy says:

    I’m just around the corner from Karv and have never really felt that the noise level was disturbing…though I may have a higher tolerance for such things as I can still remember my college days (thought they’re starting to get dim now).

    If any crowd is noisy, it’s the King’s Head college kid crowd, and even then, aside from a few nights in the summer, the noise is really a non-issue.

  9. Adrian Csintalan says:

    I’ve lived here for six years now. Three on Cornwall, and three on third ave. I love this place to death, and am a westside homeowner and proud westside Realtor. That little stretch should be respected by all, but I find that most of the people making the racket are visitors from the burbs who don’t truly appreciate the beauty of our small little niche neighborhood. Though I try to patronize everybody around here, I honestly stay clear of that place in particular due to the loud noise.

    If you are a regular patron of that place, drop a note to the management that the neighborhood does take notice of all around here.

    Adrian Csintalan
    On twitter as “WestsideAdrian”

  10. Heinz Skitzvelvett says:

    Trucker Hat:

    “a rowdy, loud and trashy bunch”

    You’ve just described any cranny of Vancouver within five blocks of a pub/restaurant/club between the hours of 9pm and closing time, Thursday to Sunday.

    I’m not certain how you would describe your personal nirvana of quiet and solitude, but if you’re looking for it in Kits or any other trendy neighbourhood in Vancouver, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.


  11. Trucker Hat says:

    I don’t have a “personal nirvana of quiet and solitude” because I live near where buffons occasionally congragate for a night of fun and frolick and loud, inconsiderate outdoor merriment (read “Karv’). An extension of hours for Karv is disappointing. But, hey, apparently they now have a really super-duper-top-of-the-top chef. So, maybe they’ll become the new Lumiere and attract a chi-chi, quiet clientele. You just never know…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Does no one remember the urban well or malones? oh thats right u haven’t lived here long enough for me to care what your views on locals bars are. blah blah blah not even news worthy.

  13. Peter Raab says:

    I live three blocks away and think if anyone has a problem with the noise they should move to Maple Ridge. To complain about a couple of restaurants/bars that are open until 2:00am is ridiculous!

  14. Bill Barilko says:

    It’s painfully apparent that Karv is just a bar and one that doesn’t attract a local clientele.

    I lived for years on 5th Ave behind Biminis so know what people near Karv are going through.

    The Good News is that a 2AM closing time isn’t going to make marginal operations any more viable and that eventually the lights will dim on yet another den of inequity.

  15. Kitsboy says:

    @Peter Raab

    RE bubble is about to burst. Is it time to brush up on your table-wating skills?

  16. Dan says:

    Karv is looking like it closed one day and everyone split.
    Any news on what happened?

    Won’t be sad to see the back of it, mind you. It was a pretty shabby place.

  17. Sleeping well. says:

    The fat lady has sang, but read the comments. Also looked at reviews for Karv on Yelp, etc. Feedback was that it was a dingy place with poor service and mediocre food, and my fave, that the chef ate all evening while in the kitchen. So much for histrionics about it being the last bastion of a local grassroots pub with employees who cared about the people. Also, I was born at St. Paul’s, so I ain’t a transplant. I have lived near Karv for ten years, that location eats budding restaurateurs alive, so there have been many pubs and eateries come and then shut down over the years. Karv was, by a large margin, the loudest. I am chill, and understand that there will be some noise, but it is pretty easy to distinguish the people walking by from the people standing out front of Karv every nite smoking and drinking and screaming. Noisy as hell every nite, with staff and customers parking in the permit spots all the way up 1st. I know this, because the street would be empty after Karv closed, and I watched staff and patrons (many shit faced drunk) walk out the door and to their cars, hugging goodbye as they got in their cars, which often took up two spots because they were too stupid to park correctly. The corner of 1st and Yew has been very quiet since they left, I know it must just be a weird coincidence. And for a bunch of people who supposedly really cared about the community, the Karv folks sure disappeared into the woodwork without any sort of an explanation on their website or on the door or anything. Hmmn. Good riddance to bad rubbish.