Pronto and Prontino ‘Renovicted’ from Cambie Village

Bad news for West Side porchetta lovers. Sadly, both Pronto restaurant and its neighbouring Prontino bar are closing next month. Cambie Village is not only losing these two well-respected establishments but possibly also the gorgeous Art Deco building that houses them. Restaurateur Angela Maida sent me an email yesterday claiming she’d been “renovicted” (her word, not mine) by the building’s new owner to make way for his dental practice. She also pointed me to the following message on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which says she expects to see the building’s eventual demolition:

The owners and staff at Pronto/Prontino recently received some disappointing news.

Our beautiful building will be demolished by its new owner.

We intend to keep our doors open as long as possible, but most likely not beyond the first week of March.

We count ourselves fortunate to have been able to host so many wonderful guests over the past many years. Guests from right here in the neighbourhood, guests from other parts of Vancouver and the lower mainland, and quite frankly guests from around the globe.

It has been our privilege to provide a place for friends and families to gather and enjoy a casual meal, or to celebrate a special occasion or simply just to have a bite or a drink in a friendly – we like to think comfy – environment. We were honoured with your requests to host weddings, birthdays, graduations and engagements… and we were particularly humbled by so many of you who returned to our “little joint” again and again over the years.

We were well supported by the community and are grateful to all of the people who crossed the threshold into Pronto and then later into our addition, Prontino.

On behalf of all of us we thank you for the wonderful years and we hope to see you one last time before we must close our doors permanently.

Sigh. Renoviction or demolition aside, it’s just too bad. It’s such a cool-looking address, and it’s a shame it might not be sticking around. Here are some shots and words on Prontino, which I took and wrote on the day it opened back in May, 2014.

Scott Cohen did the design, and I think it’s one of his best to date (see also Exhile BistroThe AcornPronto, etc.). It’s a sort of stylish, high-wire balancing act between super casual and especially cool. It’s woody but not clubby; old school nautical but wholly unpretentious; more Arthur Ransome than Ralph Lauren, more Florence than Rome. For certain, it’s very pretty, the sort of place you’d happily surrender hours and dollars to just to stay in its embrace with glass in hand. You will likely wish to hell and back that it was around the corner from your house. And damn your good luck if it is.

Our best wishes to the staff and those in the community who regularly bent elbows there.

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There are 8 comments

  1. We need more restaurants and services in this area!!! I don’t want to always have to leave my area to go to cool places to eat and drink. This is a real loss.

  2. This is terrible. Not only are we losing a great little restaurant and cocktail lounge, but also a really nifty heritage building. There are endless locations for dentists to set up offices. We don’t have an endless supply of unique local eateries and character buildings.

  3. This is a real shame. Saddened by the new owner’s decision to demolish this unique building.

  4. I am beyond sad about this. I love both places, their staff and their delicious food. I am so weary from the real estate market here and the fact that a well kept Art Deco building can just be smashed to the ground. I look forward to what she does next , as she is unstoppable and a lovely human.
    – gutted.

  5. Beyond Disappointed

    I have a hard time believing that is the real reason for tearing down this beautiful building…

    Whatever the real reason this is a sad day for our area, to lose such a charming Art Deco building and well loved neighbourhood restaurant for a new office building devoid of character. Might as well put another Starbucks.. bah

  6. Thanks Pronto… we have enjoyed coming here since we moved to the hood 5 years ago… so sad that we won’t be strolling two blocks for a comfy dinner. There are many people trying to support small business in Vancouver… not so much the people we employ to run it. Having been born in Vancouver.. I have seen neighbourhoods change… this is a good thing.. but watching neighbourhoods being annihilated is so brutal…survival of the Cambie corridor sky train was so stoic and painful for so many small businesses.. incredible… what’s next Soho.. Cambie theatre?Blech… any Vancouverite should do some serious research about Vision before November… check out who funds them and try to understand their super lame agenda that is ruining awesome places to be in Vancouver

  7. This is disturbing on a number of levels…. This city is continuing to destroy historic buildings to make way for condos. Nothing is sacred! As mentioned by someone else, this strip needs MORE places like Pronto, not less, and not a dentist! Seriously. It’s moves like this that are ruining the community and driving people who used to love this city, out of this city. I am happy the owners have another space in the West End…but I will surely miss their presence in my hood, which already has a limited number of charming and cool places to go to. So sad.

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