Closing Franchise Businesses in the Lower Mainland

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Robbie
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Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:36 pm

Okay, you know that I'm not the type to open a new topic especially if there's already one that is similar. But in light of the recent discussion about A&B Sound, I thought I would create a new thread exclusively about popular franchise business that used to exist in Greater Vancouver, but have now become extinct or have been limited to just a few locations.

What I mean by a franchise business is a one that has several locations. Or in the case where the franchise headquarters is not located in the Lower Mainland, there used to be several branch locations that have all closed.

It would be interesting to see about the rise and fall about popular business that used to exist but have now closed. I'd say a lot has to do with the rising cost of doing business in the city, be it high rent or just those no longer buy their products anymore. Vancouver had certainly changed in the last 20 years, and it seems like it's sure hard to do business nowadays.

For those franchises that have been closed completely, then tell me about your thoughts if you did business with them and why you think they went out of business.

And for those franchise business that have closed several already, then take that opportunity to visit that business because it will serve as a forewarning that they might because totally extinct by the blink of an eye.

RESTAURANTS

Bino's - there used be over a dozen of them and they opened 24 hours. They only have one location in Kingsway and Joyce.

Mr. Mike's - these steakhouses were plentiful, but all but one of them closed in the 1990's. The only remaining location is in Coquitlam: http://www.mrmikes.ca/

Planet Hollywood - not bad by any means. Disappointed they closed.

Hard Rock Cafe - survived for a quite number of years before succumbing as well.

Rainforest Cafe - at Metropolis, I liked the animated crocodile and the apes inside. Very good surroundings, but it looks like theme-restaurants never make it too long.

Hooters - had two locations, one in Surrey and in Robson Street. I'm sure many guys took an interest in their waitresses, but apparently that by itself was still not enough to run such a business.

Fogg n Suds - in the Sportstalk show in late 80's and early 90's, a lucky caller would receive a $25 gift certificate. Several local locations like the one on Broadway and Cambie, on Kitsilano, and the Lougheed Highway have all closed, leaving only one in Richmond and one in downtown.

And it looks like popular fast food restaurants like Arby's, Wendy's, and Burger King has closed several locations, especially those that were located in a standalone building. Most of them are limited to just shopping mall food courts.


PIZZA

Mother's Pizza - a very popular pizza chain in the 1980's. I wonder why they went out of business.

Pizza 222 - in the 1980's, these pizza delivery outlets exists almost every street corner. The pizza itself wasn't all that good.


ICE CREAM

Baskin Robbins - In many shops, it was so crowded that one had to wait for several minutes to get service. There still a few shops, but several popular locations have closed, such as the one on W. 49th Ave and Oak St, and the one on W. King Edward and Cambie St.

Cows - located on Robson Street, it had a very strong but rather aroma inside. Now, they are only located in PEI. http://www.cows.ca


MUSIC

A&B Sound - already mentioned in that other thread, so I won't go into too much detail.

A&A Records - went bankrupt in 1991. Perhaps lost its competition to A&B.

Sam the Record Man - went bankrupt on October 20, 2001.


DEPARTMENT STORES

Eaton's - Went bankrupt in 1999. Perhaps it was because their prices were too high.

Woodward's - On the contrary, with its low prices like the $1.49 days, maybe they afford their lease anymore with too little revenue and were bought out by the Bay in 1993.

Marks & Spencer - That British retailer felt Canada was no longer a profitable country to do business with and closed their 38 stores in Canada.
Last edited by Robbie on Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。

改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。

祝你狗年行大運。

恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。

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KnowItAll
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Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:10 am

Shakey's Pizza - We serve fun at Shakey's, also pizza.

Mini Mart convenience stores.
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Soundy
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Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:54 am

Robbie wrote:Bino's - there used be over a dozen of them and they opened 24 hours. They only have one location in Kingsway and Joyce.
Are we counting all of BC, or just the Lower Mainland? Because I think there are still a few others around BC.

We used to hang out at the Richmond (No. 3 Rd.) Bino's all the time in the late 80s/early 90s; that was largely driven under by the owner (there's a whole other amusing-in-hindsight horror story there, I won't get into in this thread). When we were on tour, the first thing we'd always look for in every town was the Bino's - the food and coffee were "okay" but at least they were always consistent. We actually kept track of them, too - it was our mission for a while to visit every Bino's in BC :)
Mr. Mike's - these steakhouses were plentiful, but all but one of them closed in the 1990's. The only remaining location is in Coquitlam: http://www.mrmikes.ca/
And even that location only opened up a few years ago - before that it was a Moxie's (also RIP - they had the greatest blueberry milkshakes). They used to be more like a Bino's too - understated design and decor, decent steak for a reasonable price - but now they've gone for the Keg-style upscale design, with similarly upscale Keg-style prices.

I think there are still a few of the old stores around elsewhere in BC.

Speaking of which, how about Smitty's? That was our main hangout growing up around 100 Mile House... and it's still there. I don't think anything has changed there in 20 years.
Hooters - had two locations, one in Surrey and in Robson Street. I'm sure many guys took an interest in their waitresses, but apparently that by itself was still not enough to run such a business.
I never actually went to either store... suggested it a few times, but was always shot down, as everyone said the food was terrible.
And it looks like popular fast food restaurants like Arby's, Wendy's, and Burger King has closed several locations, especially those that were located in a standalone building. Most of them are limited to just shopping mall food courts.
Wendy's has been trying to boost themselves by partnering with Tim Horton's (which has also been an attempt to expand Timmy's in the US). Of course, almost every one of these "combo" stores I see, the Timmy's side is packed (Drive-Thru lined up around the block), while the Wendy's side is nearly empty except during lunch rush.
Pizza 222 - in the 1980's, these pizza delivery outlets exists almost every street corner. The pizza itself wasn't all that good.
The boxes they came in had more texture and flavor.

'Nuff said.
DEPARTMENT STORES

Eaton's - Went bankrupt in 1999. Perhaps it was because their prices were too high.

Woodward's - On the contrary, with its low prices like the $1.49 days, maybe they afford their lease anymore with too little revenue and were bought out by the Bay in 1993.

Marks & Spencer - That British retailer felt Canada was no longer a profitable country to do business with and closed their 38 stores in Canada.
Much like your "theme restaurants", I think the big department store was just past its day, mostly killed by the malls and the "discount" stores like Wal-Mart.
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Soundy
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Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:02 am

And for those of you on Facebook...

My tribute to the Richmond Binos: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4839971951
And someone else's to the 100 Mile Smitty's: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2363184071
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SammyGreene
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Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:04 pm

Great post Robbie — always nice to walk down memory lane.

How about furniture stores:
Wosks (several lower mainland locations)
Stacy's (Richmond)

And to the ice cream list:
Swensen's

Pizza
Carmen's (surrey and coquitlam locations)

Home Decor
Pacific Linen

I doubt any mall in the Lower Mainland was hit as hard by these closures than Lansdowne in Richmond. They lost their two anchor tenants (Woodwards and Eatons) along with Marks and Spencer and Pacific Linen in about a 3-year span. Woodwyn (a discount version of Woodwards) was another casualty at Lansdowne.

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Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:37 pm

Startdust Roller Rinks
Arco, Gulf, Domo and Texaco Gas Bars
Belton's Restaurants, Richmond, Burnaby and Granville Island
Mcdonald's (Ok just fantasy).
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Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:10 pm

The Gulf stations were bought out by Petro Canada...
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Robbie
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Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:47 pm

Soundy wrote:
Robbie wrote:Bino's - there used be over a dozen of them and they opened 24 hours. They only have one location in Kingsway and Joyce.
Are we counting all of BC, or just the Lower Mainland? Because I think there are still a few others around BC.
Only the Lower Mainland. I'm not aware of any locations outside of the Lower Mainland, and despite the fact that it's a franchise, it doesn't seem to have a web page.
We used to hang out at the Richmond (No. 3 Rd.) Bino's all the time in the late 80s/early 90s;
I went to that location a few times. It's now an Asian restaurant, like most restaurants in Richmond. I also went to since-closed locations at W. Boulevard and W. Broadway, Broadway and Cambie, and Hastings and Cassiar. I mentioned before that Bino's sponsored their BC Lions cheerleader uniforms in 1989.
Much like your "theme restaurants", I think the big department store was just past its day, mostly killed by the malls and the "discount" stores like Wal-Mart.
Well, I'd say that Woodwards could have qualified as a discount store. I don't know why that failed.
祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。

改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。

祝你狗年行大運。

恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。

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Robbie
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Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:57 pm

Sir Purrcival wrote:Stardust Roller Rinks
Yeah, the one across street from Lansdowne Mall was very popular.
Domo
In the 1980's, they would often give some free gifts after a certain fillup. Often, it was small cups. They have their web page: http://www.domo.ca and it looks like there's three remaining locations:

Richmond
4071 No. 3 Road

Delta
8111 - 120 Street

Clearbrook
32451 - South Fraserway


and Texaco Gas Bars
Belton's Restaurants, Richmond, Burnaby and Granville Island
Mcdonald's (Ok just fantasy).
祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。

改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。

祝你狗年行大運。

恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。

Blue In BC
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Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:06 pm

There is still a " Cows " at Whistler. Walked by it this weekend. It was a little too cool for ice cream but it's been there for years.

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Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:14 pm

Blue In BC wrote:There is still a " Cows " at Whistler. Walked by it this weekend. It was a little too cool for ice cream but it's been there for years.
Right, I shouldn't have said they only exist in PEI now.
http://www.cows.ca/ourlocations.php
祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。

改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。

祝你狗年行大運。

恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。

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SammyGreene
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Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:56 pm

Time to add some more restaurants:

• PJs (an Earl's type that specialized in hamburgers) — several Lower Mainland locations
• Chi Chis (Mexican) — Richmond and Guildford locations.
• Sea Galley
• Stuart Anderson's Black Angus — still in the US but no longer in Lower Mainland.
• Sirlioner — once popular everywhere but now down to one location.
• Sizzler — American version of Mr. Mikes, used to have Guildford location.
• Friscos — used to be a late night stop for us that served big honkin cheesecake among other things.

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Soundy
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Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:42 pm

SammyGreene wrote:• Friscos — used to be a late night stop for us that served big honkin cheesecake among other things.
Wasn't that Fresgo's? I know the place you mean though - used to be one on Davie and one in Whalley. They were amazing.

Hey, how about Bonanza restaurants? They were one of the first to have the big salad bars - they were huge in the mid-to-late 80s - Chilliwack had, I believe, the first one in Canada (they were a southern-US-based chain, if memory serves), opened just in time for Expo 86, and they did a HUGE business from all the traffic going through Hwy. 1., being located on that highway-side strip between the Vedder and Lickman exits.

My dad and uncle built those salad bars and the front lines for just about all of them in BC, and friends of theirs did the booths and tables for a number of them. I remember working on the Prince George store in the middle of winter, and the guys with the tables arrived late at night and parked their truck at their hotel, only to find the next morning that the laminate had popped off the tops of all the tables after the -28C temps crystalized the contact cement holding it on. For their North Van store, they'd had the tables made in Montana and shipped up... and every one of them was 8" too short. We went in at closing one night to swap them all out, and one customer joked, "that's what the American dollar will do to ya!"

Eventually everyone else (Keg, Mr. Mikes, etc.) got salad bars too, and the Bonanzas fizzled due to the mediocre food. There aren't any left in BC, AFAIK, although most of the buildings are still there, populated by different restaurants now... sorta like all the old Bino's.
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nelson95
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Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:34 pm

Still alot of Mr Mikes including a mediocre one here in the new Surrey, I mean Chilliwack
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