The past few months have presented many challenges for us all, and our world was more or less put on pause while we came to terms with a new normal.
On May 19, BC’s phase two of reopening began, and select businesses were given the green light to open while adhering to new protocols. We have been longing to revisit local cafes and stores, and small businesses on Commercial Drive, in particular, have missed our regular conversation and window shopping.
The Drive stretches out over 22 blocks with more than 300 distinct merchants specializing in everything from coffee to cocktails, apparel to top-tier Italian fare. To serve locals safely and efficiently moving forward, shops along the strip have pivoted their business models, either to serve customers online or slowly and safely welcome shoppers indoors.
Here’s a look at what’s open and opening soon on The Drive.
Food and drink
Many merchants are now offering touchless curbside pickup, takeout, online retail options, and personal shopping experiences.
To ensure that you can keep your kitchen stocked, grocery stores like Choices Markets, Dollar Grocers, and Donald’s Market are open daily. If you’re taking a night off cooking and feel like having a burrito, bagel, or burger, Red Burrito, Rosemary Rocksalt, and Havana Vancouver are all open for delivery or pickup. DownLow Chicken Shack is open for takeout and pickup orders, too, among other local dining favourites.
In terms of beer, wine, and spirits, both BC Liquor Store and Liberty Wine Merchants are open for in-store business. Select restaurants and liquor stores are also offering delivery services for drinks, but be sure to check each merchant’s website for all the details.
It goes without saying that the boutiques and retail stores located along Commercial Drive add to the character of the area.
Vancouverites have been tackling DIY and interior projects while spending more time indoors. For anyone looking to buy home accessories or furniture, Exposure Home is open for in-store shopping, and Attic Treasures is now offering delivery and pickup for orders.
On the retail apparel side, if you need new outfits, Exposure Clothing is currently operating online. Ollies Vintage is now open for in-store shopping, and Gatley Lifestyle Store is open for online and in-store shopping.
If you are looking for a new bike to take on the Seawall, Dream Cycle is open where you can design a custom ride with the team in-store.
This only scratches the surface of businesses that are now open and opening soon on Commercial Drive. As the days progress, we’re also going to see more businesses offer in-store dining and shopping experiences.
While things aren’t quite like they once were, it’s still possible to enjoy The Drive’s eclectic and artisanal local offerings — safely and responsibly.