Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Rejuvenating the Davie Village

One new manager at a time

Riley Cox. Credit: Christine McAvoy

It’s been a hard year for many gay spaces in the Village. Temporary and permanent bar closures, paired with new gay spaces opening in other parts, have resulted in the Davie strip losing much of its nightlife.

Two bars in the heart of the Village have hired young gay managers in an attempt to bring the gays back to Davie St. These men are part of a new movement hoping to rejuvenate the Village and keep our gay spaces alive and relevant.

***

Riley Cox
Official position: General manager, 1181
Age: 24

You might remember him from: Vancouver’s Next Gay Top Model, Season 3.

He’s been running 1181 for: “Three months. I started at the end of August 2010.”

Favourite thing about 1181: “There’s nowhere else like it on Davie. It’s one of the only places you can go and have a cocktail and listen to music and have a conversation that your friends can actually hear.”

Is 1181 ever going to reopen?: “We closed in September because of flooding. We are reopening on Nov 26.”

What’s changed since he took over: “In a way, I kind of feel that the flood and renovations have given me a chance to start fresh. As a new manager, I’ve been hiring new staff, new DJs, developing new nights and creating a lot of new cocktails. I’m lowering the prices as well. I don’t feel like people should have to pay $10 for a drink.”

What isn’t changing:  “The bar and décor.”

What can we do to rejuvenate the

Village as a whole: “That’s a tough one. It’s starting a bit. The Odyssey closing really helped businesses along Davie focus on how to get more people out to more venues at night. More spaces will bring more people out, which means more business for all of us. Nobody wants to spend a whole evening at one place.”

***

Yannick Desautels
Official position: Manager, Oasis
Age: 30

You might remember him from: “Movies such as… just kidding. As a model for Sweat Under Gear.”

He’s been running Oasis: “Since Nov 1.”

Favourite thing about Oasis: “The patio is going to be one of the hottest places to be next summer. We’re discussing renovations now.”

What’s changed since he took over:

“Minor things that were being ignored, like cosmetic details that were preventing it from being a proper club. We’re changing the food menu. We’ve also launched new nights, including live music nights and Social Sundays, which have been very popular so far.”

Why he thinks Fag Fridays have been successful so far:

“I’ve lived in Vancouver for quite a while now, and it always feels like there’s nothing to do on Fridays. There’s definitely a crowd that needs to go somewhere [and] they are looking for something new.”

Why he thinks Oasis is a popular night destination in the West End: “Location, location, location.”

What can we do to rejuvenate the Village as a whole: “New management and fresh ideas will help bring people back.”