DINER: “The Only” Gets Its Sign Back And Will Soon Rise Again At 20 East Hastings

Via the Sun tonight we learn that The Only – the ancient, iconic, infamous restaurant at 20 East Hastings – is being resurrected by The Portland Hotel Society, who plan on bringing back the original menu and expanding into next door…

The Only was a Hastings Street fixture from 1917 to 2009, when it closed amid allegations of drug trafficking by its last operators.

The non-profit PHS (Portland Hotel Society) leased The Only name from the original owners, Tyke and Peter Thodos, who took the name back when the last operators had their business licence revoked.

Pattison Sign Group has restored The Only’s classic neon sign, a sea horse leaping above whitecapped waves, and the PHS has leased the restaurant’s former premises at 20 West Hastings.

“Basically we want to get The Only open and do it as part of a job training thing for residents,” explains Mark Townsend of the PHS. “It’s more like a training thing/social enterprise.”

The Only’s old menu will be resurrected, and the restaurant expanded into an old storefront next door. The PHS also hopes to reopen a 6,000-sq.-ft second-floor space that used to house the Logger’s Social Club.

The building needs a lot of work before it can reopen. Asbestos in the walls and ceilings on the second floor must be removed, and the electrical and plumbing are in dire need of repair.

I imagine it’ll take quite a while for the job to get done (the “soon” in the headline being hopeful rather than accurate), but I’m stoked just the same.


There are 12 comments

  1. So, the Portland Hotel is getting into the restaurant business?
    I can’t think of a worse marriage.

    Free crack pipes with every bowl of chowder?

    I shudder to think.
    No thanks and Nein Danke.

  2. Geez; get back in your beamer, hit the hand sanitizer and chill out. This joint will be great for the ‘hood.

  3. Dude, I ride a fixie.
    However, I am not employed by those poverty pimps™. Nice try.

  4. I see that someone reading thinks they’re amazingly clever for putting down the poor.

    Bravo. You’re attacking some of the most downtrodden members of our society. You’re so COOOOOOOOOOL. So cool you should like, go sit in a freezer naked, because you’re cooler than the freezer. Also because the world would be way better off with less of your cheap “hur hur poor people, all addicted to crack, they’re so awful, I’m so amazing”.

  5. I loved The Only.Great food at reasonable price.I once sat next to Tony Parsons there,he was wearing a large napkin to protect his suit,he was almost due to anchor the six o’clock news

Inside a Ghostly Lumiere and DB Bistro, Still Empty 380 Days After Final Dinner Service

Seven years ago this week in April, 2012 I took a look inside two interconnected restaurants that once captivated Vancouver diners.

This Art Deco Railway-Themed Ice Cream Shop Would Suit Vancouver’s Oldest Stations

Either within a few steps of the Pacific Central Station or inside the voluminous 1914 Waterfront Station would be appropriate...

Can You Correctly Identify This Vancouver Restaurant?

Do you think you know Vancouver's restaurant scene well enough to identify this spot? Give us your best guesses in the comments...

On the Complicated History of Curry and the Great Mashed Potato Mystery of Mississippi

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds terrible dining advice and feasts on Game of Thrones.