February 9, 2018 12:41 am

After 7 years, this popular Cambie Street eatery is being forced aside by property values

Pronto Café in the Cambie Village is set to close within weeks due to rising property prices. Aaron McArthur looks at the growing challenges faced by small businesses in an ever changing city.


For seven years, Pronto has served up Italian comfort food in Vancouver’s Cambie Village near West 18th Avenue.

But now the popular restaurant is being pushed aside — like a number of Vancouver businesses, it’s become a victim of its own city’s success when it comes to property values.

WATCH: Property tax increases driving businesses off Robson Street

The restaurant is currently attracting people from out of town who want one last bite to eat at Pronto before it and sister bar Prontino close on March 3.

“I always thought I’d be handing this business down to one of my kids,” Pronto owner Angela Maida told Global News.

The lease on this building was terminated by the owner to make way for a dentist’s office and an apartment building to be constructed above.

READ MORE: Robson Street store closing after 93 per cent property tax increase

The restaurant is being forced to close with little warning, and says there was no room to negotiate.

The air above this building, and other one-story structures in Vancouver, has grown in value.

Story continues below

“People have always come through the door here expressing gratitude for what we built and what we delivered to the community here,” Maida said.

“They want this, they appreciate this.”

But she’s not alone. Business owners all over Cambie Street are being forced to relocate as property values continue to rise.

“In Vancouver we’re seeing really quickly change happening,” said Rania Hatz of the Cambie Village Business Improvement Association.

“We’re losing small independent retail. When they rebuild, there’s not an incentive to create small retail spaces.”

Maida is setting up a new restaurant in the West End.

But there’s no making up for a place that has become such a part of the community.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.

Global News