Just days after the long running Blue Plate Diner moved out, Global News has learned a new restaurant is slated to open in the same spot.
“He’ll be there temporary, for a year or more,” explained building owner Kamil Issa of Limak Investments.
Earlier this year, the Mackenzie Tower proposal was unveiled.
The concept showed a mixed use tower with a hotel on the lower floors and condo residences above, replacing the building that housed the Blue Plate Diner. But — the plan has changed.
“We are not selling condos,” Issa says.
Now, the residential floors will likely be marketed as apartment rentals instead of condos for sale.
“Millennials changed everything, they don’t want to commit anymore” Issa, one of the project partners, said when explaining the change in business case for the proposal. “And the mortgage rules, too many variables.”
As work continues behind the scenes, Issa wanted to ensure the space on the pedestrian-friendly 104 Street did not sit idle; working with local restaurateurs on the temporary new venue.
“Blue Plate was such a destination,” says Ian O’Donnell with the Downtown Business Association.
News of a temporary lease sits well with O’Donnell.
“We want to make sure that area still has a lot of traffic,” he says in an interview with Global News.
“Often times, empty buildings have problems with graffiti or broken windows, those kind of things. It’s really important we keep active uses happening.”
The new restaurant called Royale, which describes itself as a modern day diner specializing in burgers, beer and milkshakes, is expected to open in the fall.