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Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive (known locally as “the drive”) has a very interesting history.

Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Commercial Drive used to be predominately an Italian part of Vancouver(pronounced Vancoover) up until the early 1980’s, but now a days, like the rest of Vancouver, it’s very much a mixed community where people of all ethnic backgrounds live work and visit.

In the past, you would see many cappuccino shops and Italian delicatessens and the restaurants in the area were almost all Italian. For example of what it was like there, in the early 1980’s I went to “the drive” for dinner with some who were Italian and had a great meal and the best part was yet to come...

People (who were just having dinner there) took turns singing Italian songs! One guy even sang a love song to his girlfriend and then proposed to here right there in the restaurant and she said yes and the whole restaurant stood up and cheered! Now is that romantic or what! I used to wonder where if the went there during their honeymoon or anniversary

Back to "the drive", these days there are some interesting shops to be found, everything from African clothing to European travel agents to a really funky Cuban restaurant called “Havana” that is open almost all the time and at night has live entertainment.

The area of "the drive" is pretty good during the day but at night I don’t know that I’d suggest walking in the area alone because it may be unsafe or as a friend of mine explains it “Commercial Drive is in a state of flux”. I’m not sure what they mean by that I do know that the coffee there is as good as the coffee and light treats as you’ll find at a little place on Cambie Street called “Beans” is and they have great coffee and food! Tang and Ming are the owners but more on them and their shop later.

Check out Commercial Drive and see what you think of the area, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.

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