The Elbow Room Cafe is closing due to redevelopment

And the redeveloper is the City of Vancouver


Another cherished Vancouver restaurant is poised to end its long run in the face of impending real estate development. The Elbow Room Cafe is set to shutter and face the wrecking ball so the site can be rebuilt with housing units.

The Davie at Seymour site is one of several the City of Vancouver intends to redevelop for housing. Details of the plan were revealed last week.

elbow room

Screenshot/Google Street ViewThe news is not entirely a surprise to the folks at the Elbow Room, as a couple of years ago they learned their space was going to have to be surrendered sooner than later, and the lease renegotiated with the City of Vancouver to last until October 2018, according to CBC.

While the plans for this particular redevelopment include a mix of retail and residential, it’s unclear if the Elbow Room will be one of the new tenants in the rebuild, or if they intend to open elsewhere–this may well be the end of the line for the quirky eatery.

The Elbow Room is known for their heaping plates of diner-style eats, served with a generous helping of sass: “Food and service is our name, but ABUSE is our game.”

Opened over three decades ago by Bryan Searle and his husband Patrice Savoie, the couple created a safe space in the community (despite the expected cheekiness they dished up with their bacon, eggs, and coffee).

Searle, sadly, passed away in December 2017 at age 87.

The Elbow Room began its life in 1983 on Jervis, and moved to its Davie Street spot in 1996. Other retailers on the affected block of Davie at Seymour include Royal Vape and All 4 One Barbershop; restaurants Juno Vancouver Sushi Bistro and the What’s Shaken Milkshake spot have already closed.

An official closing date for the Elbow Room has not been announced.

With files from Sandra Thomas at the Vancouver Courier

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome. A fifth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where SHE (look no typo!) earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: