Toseki Entertainment Ltd., which owns Aqua Riva along with Horizons on Burnaby Mountain and the Salmon House in West Vancouver, is closing the venerable 9,000-square-foot restaurant partly because the size is so vast it is hard to generate profits with the lease rate being so high. Toseki’s director of operations Geoffrey Howes told Business in Vancouver on Wednesday that the seafood restaurant has long depended on convention centre business. The new convention centre’s opening has made Aqua Riva’s 200 Granville Street location a bit on the fringe of where convention-goers want to dine.
I can’t say this comes as a surprise. The closing announcement was the first peep I’d heard from the restaurant in nearly three years (to a certain extent, it was my job to know what was happening there, but I was never made to feel compelled to know, you know?). Not to kick a place on its way down, but reminding local people – and the local press – that you exist from time to time is a good thing. The last time I dined there was in 2002, and I don’t remember anything about the experience except for the absolute grace of the manager (with her pantsuit and matching shoes – blue heels, IIRC). Still, it’s never nice to see a restaurant go under, especially after so long a run.
You might recall that one of Toseki’s other restaurants, Horizons, suffered a nasty fire last April, so it’s been tough year for them. Here’s hoping the rest of it proves to be broad, sunlit uplands.