I am writing an obituary notice for something that is not dead yet, but will become so Oct. 1. Since the 1950s, this establishment has served customers near the crossroads of Mountain Highway and Main Street, near the entrance to the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing.
Combining a hotel, bar, restaurant and in later years also a beer and wine store, it has served North Vancouver well through the years. I am speaking of the Lynnwood.
Many, including my own daughter who remarked "it won't be missed," feel it represents part of a North Vancouver that isn't "hip" or "cool" enough in 2012.
I beg to differ. For considerably more than half a century, it has provided its patrons with a familiar, comfortable and, most importantly, affordable place to rest, eat, drink and have fun. Its spacious bar area, dance floor, adjoining restaurant and ample free parking were designed in a non-cramped style certainly not typical of today's planners. Sitting in the restaurant just the other day, I thought to myself how damn nice it was not to have to worry about where I was parked, or for how long. When I dine anywhere near Lonsdale, I can't truly enjoy my food while worried about being ticketed or towed!
As most people are now aware, the North Shore has become a high-end, upscale, watch-what-we-eat type place, where establishments like the Lynnwood don't truly jive with its residents. What most forget however, is that the "worker bees," and by that I mean the welders, the dock workers, the carpenters and electricians and those in the automotive industry who still want and need a place such as the Lynnwood to relax and unwind, even if those types no longer live in the immediate area. And what of the truckers, those that bring all our goods and supplies from places afar? The hotel provided them affordable accommodation, food and a place for a beverage in one central location.
The site is slated to become "light industrial," the owners feeling it more profitable going that route than to overhaul an admittedly aging structure. But something will be lost when its doors shut for good at the end of this month. Something doesn't last more than 50 years by being inconsequential.
My daughter enjoys the many fancy eating establishments that dot Marine Drive in North and West Vancouver, but I prefer a place like the Lynnwood, where the pioneer types ate, drank, slept and had fun. It seems more "real" to me. Before the end of the month I'm gonna try to get her to come with me for one last meal there, most likely a time for me to reminisce about a North Vancouver that is quickly disappearing. Heck, we'll probably have a beer in the pub!
Rob Rannard North Vancouver