A gay café in the heart of the Davie Village has closed its doors, leaving some regular patrons in the lurch.
“We had our Christmas party planned for the Davie Village Central and now we’ve relocated to Club 23 West,” says John Inch, a member of the steering committee for the Pacific Canadian Association of Nudists (PCAN).
The Davie Village Central (formerly known as the Davie Village Café) had been having difficulties for a while, say staff and regulars. Brent Covey, who has been working at the DVC for over a year, says when owner and manager, Andy Cook, could not pay the rent last May, he and other DVC staff decided to take over the lease on a month-to-month basis.
For five months the staff kept the business barely afloat but in mid-October Cook quietly announced the closure, according to Covey. While Covey says the business will no longer open daily, he says there is a possibility that the space can still be used for gay events.
The DVC’s phone has now been disconnected and repeated attempts to reach Cook directly were unsuccessful by press time.
News of DVC’s closure came just days after Friction bathhouse closed its doors. “We’re losing so many places now it seems,” says Inch.
Matt Allan of the gay bear organization Vancubz says Davie Village Central’s closure is a “let down” to the community.
“There’s a need for it,” agrees Mark Goodwin, a volunteer with the BC Persons with AIDS Society (BCPWA) and Friends for Life. “It was a great fit for our group. It was another home [and] a part of the community.”
Goodwin says nearly 50 members of BCPWA’s Average Joes HIV/AIDS support group had been meeting at the café every Wednesday and Friday for nearly two years.
Cook should have reached out to the community to try save the gay establishment, Goodwin suggests.
“I don’t know what we are going to do for New Year’s Eve because Club 23 won’t give us New Year’s Eve,” Inch notes.
The bear parties have yet to confirm a new venue for their events, but Goodwin says the Average Joes will begin meeting at the Oasis starting Nov 7.