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Friday, March 1, 2024

Fresh St. Market & London Drugs open this week at Vancouver House

A new grocery store in downtown Vancouver opens this week. 

Fresh St. Market will open its doors Thursday, February 6 at the base of the Vancouver House tower at Pacific and Howe.

The opening of a new grocery store in downtown Vancouver is a rare event. The market is dominated by Safeway and IGA.

However, that’s about to change. In addition to the Fresh St. Market, several more grocery stores will open in downtown Vancouver over the next few years, including Loblaw CityMarket at The Post, Meinhardt at Burrard Place, and a new Safeway store on Davie Street.

The Fresh St. Market at Vancouver House will include a full-line grocery store, as well as a pick-up area for online orders, and a café at the corner of Howe and Pacific, pictured below.

Fresh Street Market Vancouver House cafe
Interior of Fresh St. Market at Vancouver House, showing a café and grab-and-go sandwich bar.

There’s also a licensed, 50-seat restaurant called the Fork Lift Kitchen & Bar. It will serve up burgers (beef and vegetarian), fried chicken sandwiches and more, paired with local craft beers.

Fresh St. Market President Gary Sorensen says the concept for Fresh St. Market at Vancouver House was inspired by the executive and culinary team’s tours of top public markets and eateries across North America.

“This destination brings a public market like experience to what will be a flourishing neighbourhood,” he says. “Back in the day, the land under the north end of the Granville St. Bridge was a tow yard. The future of this neighbourhood is vibrant and we can’t wait to welcome everyone into our new Fresh St. Market and Fork Lift restaurant.”

The market theme carries over to the names of each department within the store, with districts including ““Welcome to our Garden in the City” “Howe Sound Seafood” “Pacific Street Deli” and “Perk for your Pedal.” There’s also a full-time cheese manager and a cookie station, with warm, fresh cookies available.

Adjacent to the Fresh St. Market is a new London Drugs location, which is expected to open February 7. Both retailers are owned and operated by H.Y. Louie Group, with Fresh St. Market operating under the Georgia Main Food Group subsidiary, which also operates downtown Vancouver’s IGA stores.

London Drugs Vancouver House
Exterior of London Drugs at Vancouver House.
London Drugs Vancouver House interior
Products are already on the shelves of the London Drugs.

The 12,108 sq ft. London Drugs location includes a pharmacy department, parcel pick up and a “curated assortment” of health, beauty, tech, and convenience products.

Opening day celebrations begin at 8:40 a.m. on Friday, February 7. Expect speeches from Vancouver city councillors and London Drugs executives, along with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The stores will have a built-in clientele, with hundreds of residents in the Vancouver House market condominium tower, as well as the rental units. The complex will also be home to hundreds of office workers and students at the University Canada West campus located on site.

Vancouver House Westbank lobby
Vancouver House lobby entrance.
Vancouver House tower
Vancouver House tower looking skyward.
Vancouver House retail space
Retail space at Pacific and Howe, showing the location of the Fresh St. Market café on the corner.

Awarded Future Project of the Year at the World Architecture Awards in 2015 and named one of CNN’s most anticipated buildings “set to shape the world in 2020” Vancouver House is downtown’s most exciting development in decades.

The tower is the fourth-tallest building in Vancouver and includes both high and low-rise structures. Set for completion in spring of 2020, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) -designed project towers 59 storeys at the corner of Beach and Howe. Vancouver House includes 375 condominiums, 106 rental homes, as well as new retail and commercial space.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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