It might be time to say goodbye to one of Vancouver’s favourite dive bars.
Yes, it looks like Main Street’s iconic watering hole, The Brickhouse, might soon be demolished and replaced by condos.
The beloved bar has been circling the drain for some time now, indeed a petition to save the site from development was started all the way back in 2014.
“Vancouver is drowning in an ocean of copy-and-paste corporate chain bars,” it states. “The Brickhouse is a great independent bar, but now it could be demolished to make way for a new condo development in Chinatown.”
But with a public open house to discuss the proposed development of the current site set to take place on Tuesday, January 28, the establishment’s time might soon be coming to an end.
The building, which dates back to the 1900s, is part of a section of land at the corner of Main Street and Union Street that is set to be developed by Bonnis Development Corporation. That land also includes the now vacated Jimmy Hendrix Shrine (which has moved to Home Street), as well as the Creekside Student Residence Building.
“We are all about participating in building communities – not breaking them down,” Kerry Bonnis, who is a partner in Bonnis Development Corporation alongside her brother Dino, told Daily Hive.
“We both grew up in Vancouver – and have strong roots in Vancouver – including coming to Chinatown as children and throughout our lives. We are aware of the importance of the Chinatown community – and intend to propose a development that is responsive to its needs.”
The developer’s commitment to the community can be seen in the proposed plans for the site. Kerry says that they intend to replace the SRA units that have been operating primarily for student housing in the area with an entire floor of 18 units, the ownership of which will be gifted to the City.
So what will happen to The Brickhouse?
“We intend to recycle Brickhouse bricks by incorporating their use into the new development,” Kerry says. “Indeed, we are in discussions with the current Brickhouse owner to ideally return and re-open within the new development.”
The proposals to rezone the properties at 728, 780 and 796 Main Street would involve the construction of a mixed use residential and retail development. In total 140 units would be built including 18 SRA units and 35% family-orientated units.
Alongside the condos there will be 5,000 sq ft of commercial space.
The proposed development is set to be discussed at a pre-application open house on Tuesday, 24 January from 5:15 pm – 7:45 pm at Science World. The open house will introduce the proposal, the team behind it, and gather feedback from the community. From there a rezoning application will be submitted to the City, which will host their own open house.