White Rock’s Giraffe restaurant. (File photo)

Giraffe restaurant owner to go ‘onward and upward’

Jamie Humphreys says White Rock restaurant closure due to lack of parking, change in economy

Giraffe Restaurant owner Jamie Humphreys says there are a number of reasons why the waterfront restaurant had to close its doors permanently, and cited a lack of parking as one of the contributing factors.

A fixture on White Rock’s West Beach since 1989, the restaurant closed late last month.

Described by Humphreys as a “destination restaurant,” he told Peace Arch News Friday that a portion of Giraffe’s business normally came from reservations of people celebrating special occasions.

During the busy summer months, he said, they would have reservations cancelled last-minute, at the request of the customer, because they could not find parking on Marine Drive.

He said this would happen often during the height of summer.

“I don’t want to make it sound like it’s all about parking,” Humphreys told PAN. “But it is an issue, it is a factor for sure – the lack of.”

He said customers have become accustomed to paying for parking on the waterfront but that it would “certainly help in the winter” to eliminate pay parking.

Humphreys – who owned the restaurant for 25 of its 28 years – said he’s in support of the four-level parkade slated for the corner of Vidal Street and Victoria Avenue, but noted he “wasn’t happy” when the city announced its plan to remove more than 30 parking stalls for the Memorial Park upgrade project.

Due to conflict with Semiahmoo First Nation, the upgrade project was delayed in September and construction fences still block approximately 12 parking stalls along the strip. White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin told PAN in October that taxpayers will be billed for the project delays, and that the extension cost per day is “not going to be cheap.”

Another issue contributing to the closure, Humphreys said, is a general trend of customers preferring to eat at more casual establishments; he cited today’s economy as a reason for that.

Last week’s PAN article announcing the closure attracted dozens of comments, and many past customers were saddened to hear the news.

Baldwin said the closure is “a real shame.”

“It’s been one of our top-end restaurants. If you had an anniversary or something like that, that’s where you would go. Jamie was a really good restaurateur, he knew the business. He always provided good product with good service,” Baldwin told PAN Friday.

Humphreys said he’s going to take some time to think and will be going “onward and upward.”

“I just want to to thank the loyal customers and all the friends we made on the beach,” Humphreys said.

The restaurant had 10 employees.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sources, City of White Rock launch Thanksgiving Food Drive

Volunteers, donations sought for annual food-bank initiative

Surrey man charged with series of break-ins in Surrey, Langley

David Sinh Liu is facing 10 charges related to seven recent break-ins

COVID-19 exposures at Surrey schools: An updated list

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Future of Massey Tunnel replacement in the air after snap election called

On Friday the ministry said it was identifying property ‘necessary for future infrastructure improvements’

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

COVID-19 testing lineup wraps around block in Chilliwack

Testing lineup includes seniors, children and their parents as demand seems to surge

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read