VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – After nearly a quarter-century in Vancouver’s Gastown district, the Irish Heather pub is headed east to a new location with more affordable rent.
Owner Sean Heather says moving to the Strathcona area will help the Irish Heather make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a business decision. If I stayed in Gastown, the rents are high based on revenue that we used to do, that I don’t think anybody’s going to be doing again for a long time. Basically, it just gives us a fighting chance. I’m grateful to be in a position to reposition ourselves,” he says.
"At some stage, you have to see the writing on the wall. You can't be wearing blinkers… we've been actively finding ways to lessen the impact of COVID." @TheIrishHeather owner Sean Heather re: decision to move out of #Gastown to new #Vancouver home. #vanpoli #bcpoli @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/iJhc47uChq
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) March 23, 2021
He’s not ready to share the site of the pub’s new location, except to say it will be smaller and the monthly rent will drop by almost $10,000.
“At some stage, you have to see the writing on the wall. You can’t be wearing blinkers. My wife and myself have been thinking of this. Since COVID hit, we’ve looked at everything, renegotiated every deal that we could, got better pricing on anything we could and been actively finding ways to lessen the impact of COVID,” he says.
“I don’t believe that when COVID is over we’re going to bounce back. I need to reduce my overhead to give myself a fighting chance to still be standing, you know, a year after COVID is gone.”
Heather says he’s confident some of the pub’s regular customers will keep popping up in the new spot.
“The vocal support we’re receiving right now from people is tremendous,” he adds.
April 4 is the last day you’ll be able to visit the current location near the corner of Water and Carrall streets.