- BC Games
End of an era for Ocean Beach Hotel
It’s goodbye Ocean Beach, hello Hemingway.
Nightclub and public-house chain the Joseph Richard Group has acquired the Ocean Beach Hotel and plans to renovate and restyle the establishment as “The Hemingway Waterfront Public House (Est. 1930).”
Redevelopment has been announced for March 2013, but principals Andre Bourque and Ryan Moreno were not available for comment at press time.
It’s yet another incarnation for the historic building, which has been a hub of White Rock social activity at various stages of its more than 80-year history.
Originally known as the Feedham block, the building was once part of Burnie Feedham’s Blue Moon empire, which included a dance pavilion famous in the ’30s and early ’40s.
In 1943, it was bought by Tom Cloninger, who added a third floor and new roof and operated the 38-room building as the Cloninger Hotel until his death in 1948, when it was rechristened the Laura-Mel by its new owners.
It became the Ocean Beach Hotel in 1950, when it was purchased by United Distillers Ltd.
The hotel changed hands several times since, acquiring infamy in the ’70s and ’80s during a period when the street-level lounge was a venue for exotic dancers.
It was last renovated in 1997 by its most recent owners, the Veltri family, who restyled the lounge as the Ocean Beach Club.
The new owners operate the Town Hall pubs in South Surrey and Langley, and other venues.