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Longer patio hours possible, but status quo for Granville

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You might get to spend a little extra time on your favorite patio in Vancouver, but council won’t look at new ways to inject some life into the Entertainment District on Granville Street.

Council agreed to explore extending patio hours at Tuesday’s meeting, but shot down a motion from NPA councillor George Affleck calling for the city to examine potential upgrades.

Many bar owners are concerned about the eyesore caused by several vacant businesses along the 1000-block of Granville with for lease signs in the windows.

“The 900-block of Granville Street is the epicenter of entertainment, but when you have a block like the 1000-block, you create a little bit of a barrier where locals and tourists alike will look at three or four of those businesses and walk away,” says Peter Raptis, who owns The Refinery and Sip.

“What they can do, and something I’ve seen in other cities, is using these store fronts as something other than just an empty store front. It’s still for lease, but there’s an opportunity for, say students at the Art Institute, to do something in those window fronts that promotes Granville Street while still advertising the space as for lease.”

Waide Luciak, who owned the Yale Hotel and the Cecil for decades and now owns Fanclub, says the best way to encourage development along the 1000-block is expand the Entertainment District.

“In order to call this the ‘Entertainment Zone’ of Vancouver, you’re probably going to need more than one block or two blocks,” he tells us.

“In my mind, we should have the district going down to Davie Street. It’s logical. If they added the 1,100 block into the Entertainment Zone and a sprinkling of bars, maybe three or four bars, that would be a great motivator for people to get out there and start to rebuild their properties and to finish things off so it would be an attractive street front.”

Luciak is also concerned about drug use on the street.

Getting rid of parking Bollards was one of the issues councillor Affleck wanted to examine.

“The way the parking is set up right now, it’s too awkward,” says Alan Goodall, who owns Barcelona Nightclub. “Lots of people choose not to park in them because they’re afraid of hitting their bumpers.”

Goodall says recent events like the Busker Festival and the Del Sol Festival helped to bring crowds downtown.