The Cambie has been saved: Vancouver’s oldest bar isn’t closing after all

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The Cambie, poised to pour its last drink at the end of November, will continue on as-is. File photo by Dan Toulgoet/Vancouver Courier

There were plenty of tears shed in beers in recent months over the news that the city’s storied watering hole, The Cambie, was doomed to close down.

A contentious divorce led to the necessary sale of the property by ex-owner Sam Yehia, and the venue seemed poised to end its tenure as Vancouver’s oldest bar come Nov. 30.

However, operators The Cambie Malones Group announced Wednesday that The Cambie “has been saved” and the venue will “no longer be closing its operations this year.”

In a media release, The Cambie Malones Group explains that their staff and management have spent the last few months working towards a solution for keeping the pub open. The operators have successfully reached an agreement with the new property owners which will permit them to keep running the business at the location “for the foreseeable future without any anticipated interruptions or changes to service on the horizon.”

“We really didn’t think it would be possible to keep the business alive after the property was sold,” says Sally Negus, owner of The Cambie Malone’s group, “but we are so happy to announce that we did it! It was never my choice or wish to close The Cambie, so we did everything we could to keep it going.”

As a bonus, the Cambie hostel, currently operating on the upper floors of the building, will continue to run, while its sibling property and pub in Nanaimo will change ownership and stay open under the same name at the end of this month.

According to Yehia, a bar has been in operation on that corner at 310 Cambie St. since 1897. That 122-year stretch makes The Cambie the oldest watering hole in Vancouver. Many would say, with great fondness, the key word in that last sentence is “hole.” Over the years, the bar has gone through many makeovers before it became known as the world-famous backpackers hostel it is now, eulogized V.I.A. columnist Grant Lawrence back in July.

Now, the stories at the iconic dive can continue to pour forth along with the pints of beer, and the place may resume its post as being a “rite of passage” for many a young Vancouverite.

The Cambie is located at 310 Cambie Street in Vancouver.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA 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: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom