IRONY: Waldorf Hotel Set To Close January 20th After Being Sold To Condo Developers

From the Department of What The Fuck comes a piece of news that we really didn’t see coming! From the inbox:

East Vancouver’s cultural institution the Waldorf Hotel has been sold to real estate development company forcing imminent closure.

The Waldorf Hotel re-opened its doors on October 31, 2010 with a vision: create a welcoming cultural hub in the heart of East Vancouver. Prior to this, the complex, which was built in 1947, had seen better days, and was just one of many dilapidated Eastside dive bars. But in the summer of 2010, a 15-year lease was signed by a group of partners led by Thomas Anselmi, Ernesto Gomez, Scott Cohen, and Daniel Fazio. They proceeded at great financial and sweat equity costs, with no assistance from the landlord, to restore the building to its former glory.

A restaurant, hotel rooms, a world renowned tiki bar, two nightclub spaces, a recording studio, and an art gallery were housed under the re-imagined Waldorf’s roof. It was embraced by the community and dubbed “a Cultural Oasis in the middle of nowhere” by the Globe and Mail.

The Waldorf was well on its way to growing into an economically viable and profitable business. But, given the scope of the project and its “middle of nowhere” location, it should come as no surprise that the first year was a financially difficult one. The landlord, Marko Puharich, was sympathetic and understanding and some rent was forgiven to give the project breathing room. But in August 2012, the landlord’s attitude changed overnight and it was baffling. Phone calls stopped being answered. Emails and texts were unreturned. A smug litigator, rather than the jovial landlord, became the point of contact. The property was on the market and the landlord was using the Waldorf’s growing pains to break the lease.

In early January 2013, Anselmi and Gomez were informed that the complex had been sold to the Solterra Group of Companies, a condominium developer. “Solterra were unwilling to sit down and discuss negotiating long-term lease possibilities. We were offered a week-to-week lease until September 2013, when the property must be delivered vacant. We obviously can’t move forward under these conditions as our business requires commitments to artists, organizations and entertainers months in advance,” Anselmi explains. He then adds: “This has cost 60 people their jobs. This has destroyed our business.

“The irony that the Waldorf was taken over by a condo developer in the very area we helped reinvigorate is obvious to anyone. The Waldorf filled a void. People responded because they needed it. We tried to stand for something authentic and real in a city with thousands of empty condominiums and a community starved for cultural spaces,” says Anselmi.

During its tenure, institutions like the Cheaper Show, the East Side Culture Crawl, the New Forms Festival, the Polaris Music Prize, the Presentation House Gallery, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Vancouver International Film Festival all held events at the Waldorf. And the city’s top culture producers like Black Mountain, Douglas Coupland, Rodney Graham, Grimes, Japandroids, Michael Turner, and Paul Wong all headlined events here as well. “On top of international entertainment programming every weekend, the team was constantly working towards the next big event, such as Food Cart Festival and our legendary hotel-wide Halloween and New Year’s Eve Parties,” Fazio recalls. “We were always trying to out-do ourselves.”

Everyone at the Waldorf takes great pride in the fact that the complex was operated as a community-oriented cultural institution. The Waldorf had an open door policy. Countless emerging artists, non-profits, and community groups were facilitated. The Chef-in-Residence program devised by Gomez and Cesar De La Parra hosted international culinary stars, Bob Blumer, Rodolfo Sanchez, and Pedro Martin. The Waldorf hosted an international artist-in-residence program for musicians and visual artists in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut and the French Consulate.

“We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all the people who supported the Waldorf since we reopened our doors. We’re extremely proud of all the artists and events that we’ve hosted over last two and a half years. We’re extremely proud of our incredible staff who helped to execute world class events,” says Gomez.

The Waldorf will be vacated on Sunday, January 20, 2013. The Waldorf was nothing without its creative team and they are currently looking for a new space where they can continue to develop the high quality and eclectic arts and entertainment programming that the complex has become known for and that Vancouverites want and deserve.

Just…wow. Sometimes, Vancouver, we want to leave you.

UPDATE: Sign the online petition to stop the rezoning of the building for condos here.

77 Responses to “IRONY: Waldorf Hotel Set To Close January 20th After Being Sold To Condo Developers”

  1. Cheezwiz on January 9th, 2013 2:48 pm

    NOOOOOO!!! This is just terrible. The folks running the Waldorf had an amazing thing going – I was under the impression they actually owned the building and property, so this news is especially shocking. I would like to thank them for their hard work and I wish them well in any future cultural endeavors they pursue.

    Not only are we losing a lively cultural hub, but a nicely preserved heritage building that had been lovingly restored. The tiki bar will be no more.

    Just what we need. Another condo development. Sometimes Vancouver, I really hate you.

  2. MT on January 9th, 2013 2:49 pm

    Wow! I am blown away. What a kick in the groin.

  3. Scout Magazine on January 9th, 2013 2:50 pm

    I looked to see if it was April 1st. Nope. My last hope is that they’re pulling some sort of modern day “War Of The Worlds” radio trick on us….

  4. Geebs on January 9th, 2013 2:53 pm

    I’m absolutely disgusted. There must be something the public can do.

  5. KAY on January 9th, 2013 2:53 pm

    This is really pathetic. I don’t mind condo developers at all but to just shut down the place that made the area what it is today…This is disgusting. What can we do to keep it running? Petition? Letters?

  6. Ezze Wear on January 9th, 2013 3:02 pm

    let’s all pool our life savings, buy one condo, and burn it to the ground.

  7. Michael White on January 9th, 2013 3:02 pm

    My Facebook post:
    This breaks my heart. For obvious reasons of geography, I haven’t set foot inside Vancouver’s Waldorf Hotel in over two years, but it was (is) one of the most impressive revitalization projects I’ve seen, and an astoundingly well-preserved cultural and architectural artifact from a period that is generally not well-preserved. The all-too-familiar tale of its demise makes me—if this isn’t a contradiction—numb with rage. Vancouver: This is why you aren’t Seattle or Portland.

  8. Craiger T on January 9th, 2013 3:05 pm

    Wow just wow, is it really that easy to evict and redevelop? No wonder Vancouver can feel soulless at times.

  9. Makeda Martin on January 9th, 2013 3:07 pm

    Noooooooooooooo!!!!
    I can not say enough how saddened I am about this news.
    Having lived in East Van for a great deal of my adult life, I was so happy to see the Waldorf get a new lease on life. I did however patronize the establishment before the guys moved in.
    New Years in the Hideaway was always a good time. Grabbing off sales, while off to the park to toss a ball or frisbee was a regular Sunday event.
    I had so many good times, with the amazing staff at the “Dorf” as my sister worked on the security team, and we co-hosted a few gatherings for her friends, and co-workers. I will seriously miss you guys.
    Thank you Tom, Ernesto, Danny, Scott et al. for reminding us that there are enough creative types in this town that truly care about making Vancouver more then a concrete rain forest jungle. I applaud your efforts.
    Such sad news :(

  10. Travis on January 9th, 2013 3:08 pm

    Perhaps the developers could be convinced to build around it or maintain a similar design of the old Waldorf in the new building? If the hotel is lucrative enough in itself, they would be stupid not to consider keeping the old business.

  11. Tristan Risk on January 9th, 2013 3:10 pm

    This is SUCH a tragedy. Some of my favourite shows have taken place at the Waldorf. It’s ripping out the heart to feed an empty body… Greed will be our downfall.

  12. Nicole B on January 9th, 2013 3:11 pm

    Great article and very sad news :( I say you come move to the W2 building! We could use a little more inclusivity in downtown Vancouver.

    “We tried to stand for something authentic and real in a city with thousands of empty condominiums …” – My only qualm with this piece. Have you tried to rent a decent sized condo in Vancouver? It’s a rat race! I don’t know what empty condos he’s talking about.

    Disclaimer: I am not condoning the development of a condo building on the death bed of the Waldorf.

  13. Ali on January 9th, 2013 3:12 pm

    Can a condo development and the hotel not exist together? We have mixed use areas and buildings all over Vancouver and I would think having both the hotel/bar/restuarant and condo development there would be a win-win. More business for the Waldorf and a draw to potential condo owners. Solterra should make it work!

  14. vancityjess on January 9th, 2013 3:13 pm

    I DO mind condo developers, because they drive shit poor real estate deals like this and are ruthless land speculators. the City of Vancouver needs to step up and work to protect cultural hubs like the Waldorf, lest this entire damned city becomes one mammoth condo.

  15. Hurly Burly on January 9th, 2013 3:19 pm

    It’s private property, so the landlord can sell.

    Unless the guys are being compensated for the early forced exit and the money they put into leasehold improvements (in return for cheap rent?)—and all that is written down in their lease—they are likely SOL.

    Another business lesson, learned. Get a good lawyer when putting those leases together, people.

    Hope the guys do better, next time. A great concept. And it only underscores the problems that all small business people face here in Vancouver

  16. Randy Grskovic on January 9th, 2013 3:24 pm

    I know everyone is interested in how it effects the city culturally, as am I, but what about how many people are losing their jobs with this news? The Waldorf currently employs a lot of people in the creative industry, what happens to them? I mean, I’m going to miss partying there as much as the next guy but pink slips are devastating! Does anyone know the numbers and implications of this?

  17. Hroomba on January 9th, 2013 3:26 pm

    “I’m absolutely disgusted. There must be something the public can do.”

    If the public wouldn’t support them enough to make a go of it before, why should public support matter now?

  18. V on January 9th, 2013 3:28 pm

    No worries, we will have more condo’s with Hong Kong money and more Chinese food restaurants around those corners.

  19. Sean Orr on January 9th, 2013 3:30 pm

    Angry? come see the band Angry! play tomorrow at The Waldorf. (also my band Needs)
    http://www.facebook.com/events/256143444513128/?ref=14

  20. Altaira on January 9th, 2013 3:30 pm

    Is there any way that the Waldorf could get some kind of historical designation?? Making it harder to completely redevelop into condos?

    @Nicole B – I’m guessing it’s a reference to the number of condos that are empty because they were bought by real estate speculators, and just have noone living in them. Bike along the the Sea Wall in False Creek or Coal Harbour at night, and you’ll see very few apartments that are actually lit.

  21. Antroll Testosterhome on January 9th, 2013 3:36 pm

    Finally…
    I been looking at moving into that area for a while now. Way too many hipsters though. Now with one fell swoop they will fix up the area proper and I will feel safer about ownership while renting the place out (Hong Kong is far away, after all).

  22. Aleph Null on January 9th, 2013 3:36 pm

    Vancouver is clearly less a city and more a condo corral, less for living, and more a lot for piling up commodity real estate, reinforcing that the measure of success in Vancouver is how quickly one can get out.

  23. rr on January 9th, 2013 3:38 pm

    This is really, really sad news. Just last weekend a pair of Portlandians were asking me where a realiably good time could be found any night of the week. My friends and I unanimously pointed them to the Waldorf.

    What does this leave us for good showbars that aren’t jam-packed with the bridge&tunnel top 40 crowd? The Biltmore? The Astoria (not even, really)? W2 (which seems to have lost so much relevance since its move)?

    Sad day.

  24. Bobby C on January 9th, 2013 3:41 pm

    There are far too many reactionary responses for what has happened. The Waldorf hotel needed to give a good reason to the landlord to NOT look for opportunities in redevelopment. Done so simply by making their agreed upon rent payments. Let this be a lesson to everyone that if we don’t want our favourite businesses to shut down for financial reasons, then we need to support them with our patronage and $$$ (emphasis on the cash). This should give you a reason to go out and enjoy yourselves tonight! :)

  25. Geebs on January 9th, 2013 3:41 pm

    Hey Hroomba, who said this was an issue of lack of public support? Myself and thousands of others put a helluva lot of cash over that bar.

  26. Like I Care on January 9th, 2013 3:45 pm

    First, the business plan of Anselmi was completely flawed, unrealistic and unsustainable.

    The condo developers will also lose money on this because no one in their right mind will buy a $hithole condo in East Van when there’s so many $hithole condos available thanks to the building spree this city is addicted to.

    Just like Olympic Plaza where there are STILL 160+ units unsold, untouched, the developers will end up on the losing end and having to sell at terrible prices to owners who have no business owning a mortgage.

    Good luck. Reference this message in 2015 and you will see it is 100% dead on. That’s because I’m from the future.

  27. matt on January 9th, 2013 3:45 pm

    unfortunate that this happened, but the landlord of the property has every right to sell their assets. Sounds like the folks at the Waldorf should have got a longer term lease theat would esnure they couldn’t be kicked out. Why not stay until September?

  28. Mike on January 9th, 2013 3:47 pm

    Does “using the Waldorf’s growing pains to break the lease” really mean “They weren’t paying the rent they had agreed upon in the lease and the landlord was done cutting the Waldorf a break?”

    Maybe the owners should have charged a little more or spent a little less on the place. The article says that “We were always trying to out-do ourselves.” Maybe they over reached and couldn’t make the business work.

    People should blame the Waldorf owners. They had a 15 year lease, they shouldn’t have given the landlord cause to break the lease.

  29. Nuckcicle on January 9th, 2013 3:49 pm

    More culture. Less condos.

  30. Aleph Null on January 9th, 2013 4:00 pm

    As for financially supporting Waldorf and other cultural entities, maybe if the business class as a whole in this city reorganized their wage models more people would have enough cash to actually go out and patronize culture. Minimal wages and a grossly high cost of living really leaves loads of people with little more entertainment budget then sitting at home eating toast and potatos. Pay people money so they can spend it! Its how Henry Ford did it! Money for the masses! Cheaper rents! Cheaper foods! Internetz for all!

  31. Mitchell Kezin on January 9th, 2013 4:01 pm

    There is so LITTLE respect for Heritage in this city it makes me ill. This is very sad news indeed.

    I noticed recently a new condo development kitty-corner to The Waldorf, then shortly afterward the LOT across the street (formerly a Canadian Tire store) was demolished to make way for I suspect yet another Condo…

    Now this ?! Is it the SAME developer involved in all three of these projects Most likely.

    I wish them HELL !

  32. Typical Vancouver on January 9th, 2013 4:21 pm

    This is a complete joke. The city is so backwards. Watch the neighbourhood fall into an even deeper depression now with nothing else to keep the local (read micro) economy vigorous nearby. Yet another cultural space gone the way of the dodo. Vision Vancouver wants any and all entertainment to take place on Granville St or at one of Donnelly Group’s soul-less “public houses”. Pathetic.

  33. Hroomba on January 9th, 2013 4:26 pm

    “Hey Hroomba, who said this was an issue of lack of public support? Myself and thousands of others put a helluva lot of cash over that bar.”

    Plainly not enough.

  34. P on January 9th, 2013 4:33 pm

    Take over the W2 cafe! The current occupants are so bad at turning a profit. Maybe you could create an awesome space and make some money doing it

  35. John on January 9th, 2013 4:36 pm

    Vancouver is lost. Bleached out to foreign investors. As we watch our cultural institutions collapse by the dream of capitalism. How do we just sit here and let these corporations shape our once lavishly colorful city to a condominium waste land. We need to stand up! Fight back! This is my town! What are we going to do about this??

  36. Mr Paywall on January 9th, 2013 4:37 pm

    @Mitchell The closest development they have seems to be the new condos at the corner of Keefer/Main

  37. Dirtalley on January 9th, 2013 4:40 pm

    There’s a special corner of Hell reserved for condo developers, where pieces of their bodies get chopped off one and by one and replaced with nests of yuppies, who then multiply and infect the surrounding areas.

  38. Jeremy on January 9th, 2013 4:41 pm

    Good Article here… Escpecially when you read #5….
    http://www.bcliving.ca/entertainment/5-things-you-should-know-about-the-waldorf-hotel

    The Waldorf has been an incredible space for years and years. The owners who were for sure losing money have owned it since the 70′s, most of us were not even born when they were running the tiki bar or letting obscure bands take the stage… I have no clue how old they are but at least they gave it one last go. It is a shame we the community never gave them the support or were able to make the Waldorf successful.

    As much as the current crew must be crush to be losing their cool spot… The owners have invested 40 years into that place. We should be thanking them for all they have done to the community. Not recently but in the long term. I for one and saying good luck and enjoy your retirement. You have given so much to the city and if the city was unable to give back we are sorry…. If we were able to I am sure it would still be alive today.

    Who ever the owners are Thank You for all the effort and hardships on keeping this place alive for as long as you did…. it is now our job to create new venues and spaces for the future.

  39. Rob on January 9th, 2013 4:58 pm

    Wow. That’s a lot of us vs. them talk.
    -release says the operators signed a 15 year lease. How does the seller/Solterra get around that? Unless the operators broke the lease.
    -if the business model is flawed, it’s flawed. Culture consumers are always free to pay more for their culture. The fact is that people (including anyone who reads this) vote with their wallets. Not enough people want or value the Waldorf.
    -60 hotel jobs lost. Way more short term, higher paying construction and related jobs saved.

  40. Robson on January 9th, 2013 5:15 pm

    Yeah, yeah, blame the owner (who may have had to pay mortgage), blame developers (the people who build our physical community and add to our housing stock), blame the City, yuppies, terrorists, bed bugs, etc. Then sober up.

    This is a failure of the operators. Period. But an utter, unfathomable failure, with such a unique property. I’ve been there enough times when it was packed and with a line up so they all they cash flow they needed to thrive. And pay rent as incentive for the owner to keep it rolling. Either they are utter idiots in managing or they were skimming big and claiming poverty. Either way, they killed it. Nobody else. Same with W2 Media Cafe. Goofs.

  41. john on January 9th, 2013 5:24 pm
  42. Big red on January 9th, 2013 5:56 pm

    The cold beer and wine had a poor selection and bad prices.. name with the bar and restaraunt.. shit food and shitty prices.. no wonder they want to get out of that business..

    writing as if this place is something special… just another place like any other

  43. Chris on January 9th, 2013 5:59 pm

    I never spent much time at the Waldorf but this city losing one more place for arts and music really hurts…

    We can blame developers but really we only have ourselves to blame. How many people here have gotten involved in their communities, attended City Hall meetings and actively tried to curb the non-stop building of condos in this city? Pretty much none unfortunately.

    Talking about social activism in Vancouver evokes smug grins, eye rolls and name calling. It makes it that much easier for the city and the developers to pretty much do whatever they want. If we want to keep heritage and culture in this city, we have to fight for it SO get involved, it starts with us. Lose the apathy and the fear of being called a NIMBY and stand up for what you believe in!

  44. Geisel on January 9th, 2013 6:21 pm

    Two things need to happen for Vancouver’s art scene to thrive:
    * Serious public funding, to offset the cost of creating art in one of the most expensive cities on the planet
    * The end of the housing bubble

    If housing prices would return to sane levels, it would be possible for a project like the Waldorf to exist. Not to mention young people and families to live here.

  45. Jay on January 9th, 2013 6:25 pm

    Sure it’s a cultural loss for East Vancouver, but imo, the space itself was nothing special, nothing that couldn’t be duplicated by creative people at another location.

    The DTES is so full of character and character buildings, the one important component that’s missing though is a strong population to let the East Side fulfill its potential. Condo’s and development are considered dirty words by the protester class, but they are needed if we want to revitalize derelict neighborhoods. Probly with new development along East Hastings, a Waldorf type space somewhere in the DTES would thrive.

  46. Conrad Yablonski on January 9th, 2013 6:27 pm

    Agree with Big Red all the people who are So Outraged never actually visited the shabby place with it’s often lousy food, terrible drinks and unspeakably bad service.

    If it was So Great it would have paid the rent and more.

  47. Dirtalley on January 9th, 2013 6:37 pm

    Robson – “An utter, unfathomable failure”? The Waldorf seemed like a pretty big success to me. They just got muscled out by someone with way more money. It’s happening all over the city and all over the country and it’s making Canada fucking boring and depressing. In terms of profit, the arts can never compete head on with big real estate money. It exists because people stand up for it and carve out places like the Waldorf where it can grow and thrive, and it’s constantly under attack from people who only care about money.
    Unless you’ve had a good close look at their books, you can’t call this a failure of the operators. They may have been turning a good profit. You said yourself you seen it packed plenty of times…what more could they have been doing? Those people put a lot of hard work and big heart into that place – calling them idiots and/or accusing them of stealing from their own show is pretty fucking low.

  48. TW on January 9th, 2013 6:42 pm

    I blame the consistently atrocious sound engineer at the downstairs shows, whose incompetence reduced many a fantastic band to abject shittiness.

  49. Rae Ellingham on January 9th, 2013 7:01 pm

    Any way we can divert the Idle-No-More people to protest this?

  50. Organmorgan on January 9th, 2013 7:14 pm

    Gentrification doesn’t feel so good when you’re the one being pushed out, does it? I’d check the past reaction of former patrons of the old Save On Meats or the old Waldorf for comparison’s sake, but they didn’t have a forum like this.

  51. AW on January 9th, 2013 7:42 pm

    WRITE TO CITY COUNCIL!
    WRITE TO CITY COUNCIL!
    WRITE TO CITY COUNCIL!

    Eventually they will have to listen.
    There are a few sympathetic councillors at City Hall.
    Don’t vote for Vision Vancouver next time. Tell them you won’t. They might care enough about their careers to stand up for what their constituents want.

  52. bren on January 9th, 2013 7:52 pm

    very sickening, if would be great if we could boycott the new building, make sure nobody goes to live there

  53. edwin on January 9th, 2013 8:52 pm

    Not even Mark Brand could save this spot.

  54. The Official No Need To Start a New Thread, Thread - Page 134 - Vancouver's Top Classifieds and Automotive Forum - REVscene.net on January 9th, 2013 9:02 pm

    [...] years with all the developments (Brave Bulls Steak House lot, Canadian Tire lot, Morrey Mazda lot) IRONY: Waldorf Hotel Set To Close January 20th After Being Sold To Condo Developers : Scout Magazine Waldorf Hotel closing down for good | [...]

  55. TrixieDixie on January 9th, 2013 9:12 pm

    I agree that it was a great multi-space venue that had a number of interesting musical acts and other cultural events but after frequenting it for a while in the first few months of it’s re-opening I stopped going. I found the service to be seriously lacking, the attitudes of the staff to be intolerable, and the prices to be inflated. The operators screwed up when they broke their own 15-year lease in favour of a 4-month lease that forgave them some of the rent they couldn’t pay. Perhaps they were too ambitious in trying to “out do themselves” and spent beyond their means. Perhaps there was another reason they couldn’t make rent. But I imagine that must have made the owner a bit nervous and they were entirely within their rights to sell. As another person here wrote, we should be thanking the owner of the building for keeping it going as long as they did. I had a lot of good times in the old Tiki room long before the re-envisioning of the place by the current operators came along. Thanks to the owners for years of good memories and best of luck to the operators in their future endeavours. They had a great idea and hopefully lessons can be learned from this undertaking to make the next one more successful.

  56. Day 334 – Big Hoop Earrings « Obsolescence Project on January 9th, 2013 9:12 pm

    [...] RIP Waldorf Hotel. Vancouver, sometimes you suck. But then again  a s0cmed1a post reminded me that art, music and gentrification are tied together. Seen it before, will see it again. Still – it makes me want to move – who cares if I’m whining. Share this:TwitterFacebookMoreEmailGoogle +1TumblrPinterestStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  57. Joe on January 9th, 2013 9:40 pm

    who cares? i wouldn’t consider this establishment a cultural institution, rather, a place where young hipsters can get “waisted” and do cocaine.

  58. Denise Jones on January 9th, 2013 10:35 pm

    Save the Waldorf! This is something so special and I can’t imagine this city without it. I can literally remember dancing my heart out in my early twenties at their legendary parties… to now going to party in the Tiki room … waking up and going for brunch… to last summer having my wedding after party there. I took it for granted that it would always be there. The city response to the venue really made me believe that it couldn’t end. This is too important.. let’s all comment on all the sites we can and spread the word to stand up against no fun Vancouver, condo garbage Vancouver and demand the kind of community spirit and culturally responsible investment this city so desperately needs.

  59. JC on January 9th, 2013 10:59 pm

    I don’t particularly like the Waldorf. It’s not my scene. However I do know a good thing for the city when I see one and that is the Waldorf. What is happening here is wrong. Any petitions or support initiatives that come up I will support.

  60. Moved On on January 9th, 2013 11:13 pm

    Vancouver is a corrupt, souless, tribal village ruled by imbeciles who will kill you and leave your corpse at the side of the road after they’ve stolen your clothes plus fucked your girlfriend for good measure. This kind of cultural genocide has been going on for decades. Move away and you’ll feel better.

  61. Scout Magazine on January 9th, 2013 11:28 pm

    Derp.

  62. Cheezwiz on January 9th, 2013 11:29 pm

    It’s probably pointless (and maybe a bit childish), but anyone wanting to enjoy a big dose of schadenfreude should take a gander at the developer’s facebook page, and witness the complete meltdown/short-circuiting of their comments section before it’s taken down altogether:
    https://www.facebook.com/solterragroupofcompanies?ref=ts&fref=ts

  63. jordan on January 10th, 2013 1:40 am
  64. Kalynka on January 10th, 2013 5:44 am

    Someone (clearly not the landlord) needs to push for this site to be listed as heritage. I would do some research, but an no longer a resident of Vancouver and so can’t do anything. If anyone is interested it’s not too hard, but does take some research : http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/nominate-a-property-site-or-tree-for-heritage-protection.aspx
    Please save this site!!! The last thing the city needs is another construction site and overpriced flats.

  65. Cliff Whitney on January 10th, 2013 11:33 am

    They reopened on my birthday…… Sad to see it go

  66. Geoff on January 10th, 2013 12:28 pm

    this is a sad day for small to medium size businesses, tough times and no help from banks or the government in financing solutions for the hospitality industry! It is too bad that landlords do not offer to sell first to the tenant, we as entrepreneurs need to get smarter and find more leverage so the little guys can stick together!

  67. Miles on January 10th, 2013 12:45 pm

    I’m more concerned about losing the literal building than I am an elitist “cultural oasis” that only preaches to its own choir.

    Cultural institutions like the Waldorf don’t necessarily have to literally give back to the community or inspire children to read, their presence can be enough to allow for a great alternative to the Donnelly Group, but its frustrating when groups like this cry “oppression!” when their niche-marketed tiki drinks for graphic designers and urban-beekeepers don’t pay their rent.

    I want to make my thing too, but I don’t think I’m owed something when the broader public doesn’t rush to crowd-fund my introspective web comic or whatever.

  68. rr on January 10th, 2013 1:08 pm

    At some point, though, institutions like the Waldorf (and Richards on Richards) should be considered city amenities. Just like parks with large playgrounds are considered sacred amenities for families, we need places for 20-somethings to go, support the artistic community, and meet each other. Otherwise, we’re sliding backward to become a city where the only things to do on a Friday night are eat/drink at some pub.

    And all this nonsense of the Waldorf being just for hipsters and cokeheads, that’s crap. One of my favourite evenings there was Megaphone’s poetry readings where members of their community writing workshops came and read about their experiences. They found a way to connect people from vastly different ends of the social spectrum, and the waldorf offered a place to host it. There’s immense value in that for buildling a city’s character and community, and one that shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.

  69. Moved On on January 10th, 2013 2:02 pm

    Not too mention inhabited by cartoon watching, comic book reading, video game playing, cafe commando technologists who (secretly) enjoy being sodomized by imbeciles after the real (wo)men have been killed. Really. Leave already and trust in the knowledge that you will feel better.

  70. John on January 10th, 2013 3:00 pm

    “Sometimes, Vancouver, we want to leave you.”

    Nelson baby. Nelson. That’s where we split to aver Commercial Dr. lost its soul.

  71. John on January 10th, 2013 3:01 pm

    “… when their niche-marketed tiki drinks for graphic designers and urban-beekeepers don’t pay their rent.”

    They were too busy doing the landlords job, paying to fix up the skid-row building.

  72. spiceman on January 10th, 2013 6:19 pm

    This whole thing just sucks, entirely.

    I see it from several sides as a patron of the Waldorf, a modest land owner in that neighborhood, and a modest business owner.

    I am with Miles, there needs to be a way to preserve noteworthy buildings, and if that saves some of the businesses that come with it, all the better.

    John is ridiculous. While it is unfortunate that the land owner would let well meaning entrepreneurs invest money, time and sweat and rip the rug out from beneath them, a lease is a lease, if he has a legal way out of it, those guys should have recognized that as a major flag when investing in the project.

  73. Tracey on January 11th, 2013 2:22 pm

    Maybe this is a wake up call to stop putting up with our history getting torn down. I’m a fourth generation Vancouverite and this saddens me terribly.

  74. Leo on January 15th, 2013 12:41 am

    I sat let it go. Why bother trying to salvage a memory of the past? Let it die along with the rest of East Vancouver. The problem with conservatives is that they never know when the uselessness is gone and want to preserve something that stands in the way of progress. Housing is more important than the memories of a few old timers who themselves are destined to remain in a past era like stoneagism and religion.

  75. Dave Murphy on March 15th, 2013 8:41 am

    To Leo 1/15/13 at 12:41am: Dude, chill out. Some liberal folks around you are actually smart enough to recognize when “useless things” are worth keeping around to fend off the sterility of what many like you enjoy pretending is “progress.”

  76. Leo on March 15th, 2013 12:24 pm

    Dear Mr. Murphy:

    Give it up. The Waldorf is and has always been rodent infested and mold dominated just like all the building on the East Vancouver area; a hornets nest of horny purveyors for Bingo the Money God and ghastly deals that infest its inhabitants with mind parasites.

    Wood rots after decades no matter how many coats of paint the outside has. It is not worth the effort to disinfect the pathogens of the past lying dormant awaiting unsuspecting do-gooders.

    Memories of sloshing around in alcohol induced vomit, drunken orgies, fights and mayhem every weekend is not anything to relish. LEVEL IT and say adios to a bygone era and good riddance. To save a dead business, a dead building and hope for TOURISTS TO ROAM their eyes lovingly? at a skeleton that awaits the Second Coming to re-flesh deceased bones that supernaturalists from Hollywood might make a reality show about. IT’S OVER, get over it and move forward into the future instead of living in the past for pete’s sake. This reminds me about the debates so many preservationists had trying to save single family dwellings that were being demolished to make room for multi family living as high rises rose to accommodate population growth but the single family preservationists wanted a “s p r a w l i n g” city like the villages of Afghanistan instead of coming into modernity.

    The tradition of making smoke signals to communicate with the world is the way of religion, dogma, stoneagism and backwardness as recently witnessed at the Vatican while the religious supernatural masses looked on for the right smoke signals to applaud their approval; what guffaw in a secular world.

    If it wasn’t for nonsense Dave, you and your ilk, would have no sense at all!

  77. rr on March 15th, 2013 12:49 pm

    Gotta love the internet. Where else would I have discovered Bingo the Money God on a quiet Friday afternoon?