Scott’s and other grocery stores

As reported in the previous post, Scott’s Grocery is having a close-out sale; Steve and Esther, who have run it for more than 20 years, are retiring to Burnaby, the building has been sold, and the new owner reportedly wants to build “apartments” on the RM4-zoned site. Here’s Scott’s in Google Street View:

scotts

… and a watercolour I painted of it a couple of years ago.

73scottsgrocery

Heritage staff at City Hall are aware of the property and have “put a mark on its file” that would flag it to any potential developer making an enquiry to demolish and replace. The lot, which is 33 x 120 feet, is too small to contemplate any sort of multi-family structure, and we haven’t heard of any attempted lot assembly on that side of the street – please let us know if you hear of anybody snuffling around looking to buy up the rest of the block. Under the Heritage Action Plan, the Director of Planning would have the right to deny a development permit for heritage reasons if there is any conditional use or non-conformities involved. Anyway, that’s way off in the future, we hope.

The question is whether the new owner will eventually see the building and its grandfathered commercial use as an asset and look for a new tenant that could make it cool, as have Via Tevere at William, Monarchy Boutique at Charles, South China Trading Company at Grant and Figaro’s at 3rd – all former grocery stores. This is only a partial list of the former commercial spaces dotted along Victoria Drive, all of which ought to be retained as they contribute to the uniqueness of our ‘hood.

Heritage Vancouver has posted Scott’s on its Facebook page.

Grandview’s former grocery stores would make a fascinating subject for a research project and presentation. For example, here’s a 1960s-era city planning department photo from the City of Vancouver Archives of the McLean Grocery on McLean at Napier, showing how bleak and un-vegetated the area once was (so typical of the city’s old neighbhourhoods in that era).

1960mcleangrocer

And the more-or-less current scene, from vPike:

mcleangrocery2

Any volunteers to do the research and source photos?

9 thoughts on “Scott’s and other grocery stores

  1. Next to (now Via Tevere, was Victioria Drive Grocery, the Dr. Vigari), The Fish Hook fish and chips at 1138 Victoria

    555 Victoria – Johnny’s Groosetaria
    601 Victoria – Square Deal Grocery
    603 Victoria – Crystal Cleaners
    610 Victoria – China Chop Suey
    708 Victoria – Scott’s Grocery (Mrs. M.E. Scott)
    1806 Victoria – Penny Market Grocery and Hardware
    1908 Victoria – McCready Brothers Grocery.
    2075 Victoria – Irwin’s Grocery
    2065 Victoria – [ Scott’s bookshop ]
    2095 Victoria – Supreme Meat Market
    3906 Victoria – Mowies Home Store Grocery

  2. The developers who have purchased Scotts are intending to develop. They have been harassing the entire block for over two years in an attempt to buy the block.
    They started with buying 709 Victoria over two years ago, but needed either the house to the north, or the two houses to the south in order to have underground parking access for future condos. Because they have annoyed at least two owners on the block, and don’t want to pay the asking price for others, they have left 709 Victoria to rot. We have rats running through our yards, the garbage has piled up, they’ve cut the grass once in over a year, the house has been set ablaze by druggie squatters…it’s nasty. And now they have Scotts…very sad.

  3. I own the store “Monarchy Boutique” at 1302 Victoria Drive, at the corner of Charles. Does anyone know anything about the history of the building, or have photos of the various stores that have occupied the corner? I know the clothing stores previous, Tutta Mia and Point in Time. Was it “Bruno’s” before that? A cafe or deli? I’d love to hang photos in the store of the building/land history.
    Cheryl

    • Hi Cheryl,
      A few years ago — maybe ten? — it was a kind of high-end corner store called, wittily, Chuck and Vicky’s (for Charles and Victoria). I don’t know who owned it, and I don’t have any photos.But if you asked the people on your block of Charles, I’ll bet someone would remember all the previous businesses. It would be really great to have photos in the store that tell the history! Cheers, Penny

    • 1302 Victoria (nothing numbered on Charles at that corner) was
      Lynes Grocery run by W J Lynes in 1953

      See the various directories on vpl.ca/bccd

      In 1936 it was a grocery run by J. Blain.

  4. BTW, Steve did tell me that it was “The developers” who bought the store, and I did ask if it was the same bunch who have been trying to buy anything on the block. He said yes and I have no idea why… but it appears to be in the process of being renovated. YAY!!! (I hope).
    The developers came banging on my door again yesterday.

  5. And, since then, the developer involved in the sale of Scotts has approached me thinking I own the house I live in. He also wants to buy the block.
    I asked him what the plans were for Scotts and he replied that his clients have rented the building for the meantime. “What are they waiting for; the house next door?” I asked. “Well, the whole block is going to go sooner or later” was his response. If anyone is inclined to have this property saved; they’d best get on it now as I suspect this is merely the lull before the storm. They’re just waiting.

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