The waterfront Beach House Restaurant in Cordova Bay has closed and is on the market.
It was listed for sale, along with associated parking lots across the street, early this year and a potential buyer was lined up.
However, sale of the properties did not complete this month as anticipated.
The restaurant was closed as of Sunday.
The restaurant and parking lots remain for sale, owner Kate Phoenix said.
Many local residents would like to see the site remain a restaurant, Phoenix said, “but the costs have become quite onerous — as least to run it as I prefer.”
The events side of the business has become a specialty for the Beach House, which was receiving about eight inquiries a day about booking the venue for weddings and other private events, Phoenix said.
A small hotel built on the parking lots would be a “great fit,” she said, although that would require rezoning by Saanich.
“And of course Saanich says they need more housing, but, again, building condos or townhouses also requires rezoning. So it will be interesting to see what lies ahead for these five lots.”
Staff had 19 months’ notice that the restaurant would close Aug. 27, she said.
“We just had to choose a date to stop taking bookings and Aug. 27 seemed right,” Phoenix said. “We have honoured all of our commitments and look forward to quietly enjoying the last few days of summer.”
A notice on the Beach House website thanked patrons for their support and said an update will be posted “for contacts to new operators when information becomes available.”
Phoenix said anyone with a balance on a gift card can send the number and contact information to email@example.com.
The waterfront facility, with large windows that look out to the beach, started as an ice-cream stand in the 1920s and expanded into a space for dinner, dancing and special events, such as weddings.
Formerly called McMorran’s, the property was owned for decades by the McMorran family, which closed their restaurant in 2010, saying it was difficult to make a profit.
Phoenix purchased the property and did a major renovation, installing a new roof and repairing the foundation for the three-level, 11,000-square-foot building, which has a 2,200-square-foot patio.
She opened the Beach House in 2012.
It was listed for sale this year for $5.5 million. The property is on two lots at 5105 and 5109 Cordova Bay Rd.
The lots total 16,732 square feet and have 10 onsite parking spots.
The parking lots and another lot with a house on it are listed for sale for $9.9 million.
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