Big changes afoot in downtown

On the business front, there’s good and bad coming out of downtown Langley lately, and here’s a snapshot.

First up, good news for three lucky winners who recently walked away with the Downtown Langley Business Association prize packages offered up before Christmas. Congrats to those lucky sods, I’m jealous I didn’t win – maybe next year.

In the meantime, a recent drive down the one-way strip of Fraser Highway was a little disheartening as I noticed a larger than normal number of empty storefronts.

For instance, a “for lease” sign is up again on a portion of the former Tribal Spirit Gallery space, between the new Sushi Momo and the recently relocated Frostings Cupcakery. 

Signs posted late last summer promised the arrival of Elle’s Kitchen, an organic food establishment, in that space. But that dream seems to have been shattered.

A similar new “for lease” sign also occupies the window of the former Cat & Dog Gone Natural store, and a few doors east, a space – once occupied by the Langley Advance – has also been vacated. The Club Color ceramic store has moved across the street, into what was the Art on Floors store, at the entrance to Salt Lane.

Also on the north side of the street, the old Ice Cream Shop and Beverage Emporium windows are all covered, offering no hint of what’s to come.

Now, a few positives were also discovered. Also along the one-way, a small shop once home to Saje has paper on the windows and a sign boasts the space will soon be occupied by Shoes of Europe.

Now, I’m not sure why renovations to McBurney Coffee and Tea House didn’t happen when McBurney Lane was in upheaval last year, but the cafe is now a construction zone. Management hopes to have it reopened for Jan. 20.

Not too far away, of course, Fields has since taken over the former McFrugal’s location, and staff at Liquidation World were given notice  around Christmas that they’re going to soon be unemployed. There was some hope that when Big Lots! bought the company, the bargain centre would change and grow. But that doesn’t look likely.

And, just up the street on Logan Avenue, Triton Transport has a new neighbour. West Central Building Supplies relocated from the north to south side of the 204th Street overpass during the holidays.

Finally, speaking of 204th Street businesses, there’s no “for lease” signs up, but there’s no sign of life either at Susie Q’s Drive Thru on Douglas Crescent, which opened less than a year ago after lengthy renovations to the old DQ building.

But, just up the street (near Home Hardware), Tyron Kennedy recently opened a gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan cafe called Viva Verde that I’m going to have to try out.

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