Mourning the loss of student spaces

We usually don’t expect well-loved places to die. Whether it’s a late night study spot with free WiFi, or a late night party spot with cheap brews, it’s disappointing to find out your favourite place is no longer with us.

There have been some special student hotspots close to UBC which have since disappeared or ceased catering to us in the way they once did. Let’s pour one out for the most notable places we’ve mourned the loss of in the recent past.

Calhoun’s Bakery
1993 - 2017

Calhoun’s Bakery was a 24-hour cafe on West Broadway, frequented by students studying late into the night and in need of wifi. It closed in January 2017 so the owner could focus on Calhoun’s Catering, which was a big source of revenue for the company. Even though there were never enough outlets and you had to buy something every hour to renew your internet access, the ability to work all night long with an immediate caffeine supply made it all worth it. The building still exists with the same exterior cowboy facade, only as an East is East restaurant.

Bimini’s College Night
2013 - 2018

The Bimini Public House on W 4th Avenue has been a popular place for students to go out on Wednesdays, which were formerly known as “College Night.” However, College Night has now been moved to Republic due to overcrowding. “It outgrew Bimini’s. It got too big … and there was just too much going on, and it almost overpowered this place,” explained Matt Donnelly, the managing partner at Bimini’s. On whether or not this will affect the off-campus nightlife of students, Donnelly said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I have no idea…”

Jethro’s Fine Grub on Dunbar
2010 - 2018

Jethro’s Fine Grub closed their Dunbar location on July 25, 2018, as a result of pressure from their landlord. u/Neobladesman on Reddit grieved “RIP Jethros [sic] on Dunbar, my brunch will never be the same.” It still has a location on Fraser street in East Vancouver, but students loved Jethro’s on Dunbar for it’s cheap brunches close to campus. Gone is the tight space with the aroma of syrup, eggs, and bacon, and the approval of Guy Fieri, who “tried the Pulled Pork Sandwich when there and loved it.” If that’s not a testament to the importance of this place, I don’t know what is. Renoviction has cost us a great and cheap brunch spot, especially one so close to campus.

The old Coppertank Grill
1999 - 2017

Coppertank, also known as “the Tank,” was a very popular pub on Broadway, usually packed with UBC students. It moved to a new location with some new, not-so-welcome features. u/blueish101 on Reddit explains that the old Coppertank was “an absolute staple for a bunch of different friend groups.” They went on to mention that the wait was not long (if there even was a wait), the long island iced teas were cheap, and the music was just the right volume to have a conversation. Since opening in a new, smaller location, “the music is much louder in comparison … and since the location is much smaller … it’s not a guarantee that you can get a spot with a group. Used to be my favourite bar to go to on any given day of the week, but it’s definitely not got the same feel.” The only thing retained has been the cheap long island iced teas - so at least there is that.

Reboot Cafe
2005(-ish?) - 2017

Reboot Cafe was a popular cafe in the Institute for Computing, Information, and Cognitive Systems on campus, which closed in August 2017. Students that loved the cafe environment and the choice of food and drink mourned the loss of Reboot. The space was replaced with Pacific Poke in September 2017, which was met with very mixed reviews. A survey was even circulated in a CPSC newsletter to assess whether or not students would like to reboot Reboot Cafe. On Reddit after it had been announced Reboot was closed, u/billnyethewifiguy commented “ I can't buy coffee during class anymore?” to which u/efskap replied “guess we'll have to go across the street to forestry timmies and stand in line for hours.”

As we can all tell from the past, we could face disappointment in the future. The prospect of losing a beloved haunt is always a possibility. It’s important to cherish the places we still have, to love them until their death, and keep close the memories of our lost ones close.