In the 1970s there were few restaurants in River Heights at all. You could count them on your fingers really. Even in the 1980s, the restaurants were a bit spotty. There would be a Chinese good place there, a take-out pizza joint there. It was the early 1980s when a few places sprouted up on Grant to great success. Grapes and Pepper’s filled a crying need on the border of River Heights and Tuxedo and both places were filled for many years to come.
To be fair River Heights is very residential. There are only a certain few places where any commercial development is even permissible. The spots that are available and often small and only offer street parking. During the 1980s a number of the gas stations that were on Academy Road closed and this set the stage for some more exclusive retailing such as Eyelot Dove, Laughing Giraffe and Paper Gallery. It still took some time before restaurants like Fusion and Saucers found their way in 1996 and beyond.
In short, many restauranteurs might want to ply their trade in River Heights but alas there are few spots to do so.
The closure of the CN Oakbank line has seen commercial development extend on streets like Academy and Grant. It has also seen many new condos go up all along that narrow property as well.
In front of the condos at Corydon Avenue, a commercial development went up. It started up in 2012 and the first tenant was a hair salon but paper is over the windows telling us that BerMax is opening soon.
BerMax Caffe + Bistro has their website up but no menu. The indication though is that it will be kosher and that the coffee will be top notch. Will be looking to see what comes in the days and weeks ahead!
This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations