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Restoration planned for North Van's 110-year-old Moodyville Cafe building

The Moodyville Cafe is restored in an artist rendering of a new development slated for Lower Lonsdale - Submitted
The Moodyville Cafe is restored in an artist rendering of a new development slated for Lower Lonsdale
— image credit: Submitted

Lower Lonsdale’s “Beasley Block” will be spruced up now that council has given the green light to a new development in the 100-block of West Lonsdale Avenue.

The Beasley, an iconic false-fronted, two-storey building, celebrates its 110th anniversary this year.

Built in 1904, it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in North Vancouver and currently houses the popular Moodyville Cafe.

As part of council’s approval on Monday (Jan. 20) of a new six-storey development with 64 residential units, Staburn Property Group agreed to restore the heritage building.

Built during the boom era of the city, the Beasley has toughed it out for 11 decades and is now in need of some TLC.

Moodyville Cafe’s owner Jennifer Kent told council she would like to continue business once the renovations are complete.

“I am not opposed to this development. On the contrary... I simply wish to have something more concrete in my hands in terms of a guarantee of where my future lies,” said Kent, who asked the developers for reassurance that Moodyville will be able to return.

But this depends on the new rental price, which could increase due to restoration and the close proximity to the new development.

Staburn Property, however, agreed to allow current tenants first access to the units.

“The future of the Moodyville Cafe is clearly uncertain,” said Coun. Pam Bookham. “It’s become such a draw, especially for young people in the community.

“And yet we haven’t got any guarantee... that we can retain a business like that.”

Although the developers say Moodyville is welcome to stay, change is still coming.

The upstairs is currently residential but could be converted to office or commercial space, a representative from Staburn told council.

The company’s architects say the new development, which runs the entire block north of the diner, will match the historical look of the Beasley building, which has become a landmark in Lower Lonsdale.

Now serving eggs and bacon, the building was once home to the McDowell Drugstore, a mainstay in North Vancouver from 1904 to 1973.

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