Former Empire Granville 7 Space to Become Cineplex Rec Room Entertainment Center


Vancouver City Council has said it is okay with a major redevelopment that would transform a dead zone in the middle of downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver City Council has said it is okay with a major redevelopment that would transform a dead zone in the middle of downtown Vancouver.

On March 13, the board unanimously approved a liquor license for Cineplex Entertainment LP to operate a huge visitor center at a site at 855 Granville Street, where prior to November 2012 there was a large theater complex known as Empire Granville 7. The site has since remained vacant, although efforts began in earnest to redevelop the site from mid-2017.

Empire Granville 7 has been vacant for about seven years. Photo via City of Vancouver

Cineplex calls its multi-level entertainment concept Rec Room, and the liquor license is for a restaurant that would have 61 seats indoors and 314 seats on an outdoor patio on the third floor on the building’s roof. The council also approved a liquor license for a 646-person hall in the site’s basement, which could be rented out to private guests who could organize events such as karaoke or a comedy show.

“It’s the green light for Cineplex to move forward with the whole concept,” said Charles Gauthier, CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.

He said he doubted Cineplex would move forward with the hospitality location if it hadn’t also obtained approval for the liquor service at the non-restaurant location.

Cineplex had to make transactions in order for its request to be considered.

Support for the application is subject to an agreement by Cineplex with Republic Enterprises Ltd., which operates the Republic Night Club at 958 Granville Street, to acquire a liquor license valid for 277 existing seats.

That’s 98 seats less than the 375 seats the city approved for alcohol service, but the approval is what staff recommended.

The decision to approve the project despite the city adding 98 alcoholic beverage seats to the Granville Street entertainment district is significant because previous councils imposed a moratorium on new primary alcoholic beverage spaces on the Strip.

Blueprint’s plan to soon open a new Colony pub in the space where it previously operated the Caprice nightclub adds to Gauthier’s enthusiasm for the future of the hotel scene on Granville Street.

This pub, located at 967 Granville Street, is expected to welcome patrons earlier in the day and throughout the week in a different way from the nightclub, which tended to accommodate revelers late on Friday and Saturday evenings. .

Another evolution in hospitality takes place at the corner of Granville and Nelson streets, where Pacific Reach is renovating a property that once housed Doolin’s Irish Pub; the Belmont Bar basement nightclub; and the 82-room Comfort Inn.

Daytime street traffic is also expected to increase when Deloitte begins subletting 78,000 square feet as sole tenant of the former 90,000 square foot Tom Lee Music building at 929 Granville Street, which has since been leased by the coworking company. The spaces.

Deloitte is expected to house 700 workers at this site in the short term, until Westbank Corp. is completing a tower at 400 West Georgia Street which will be Deloitte’s future home in Vancouver.


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