Ronnie G’s manager Shayne May stands near the patio of the White Rock restaurant on Friday.

White Rock’s Five Corners business landscape has changed since fire, merchants say

Merchants in the Five Corners neighbourhood said there's been a decrease in business since the May 15 fire.

Entrepreneurs in the Five Corners neighbourhood say the business landscape has changed for the worse since the disastrous Five Corners fire earlier this year.

Shayne May, who opened Ronnie G’s Bar & Grill with his longtime family friend, Ron Gillespie, said business has decreased anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent since the fire. He said general traffic – vehicle and foot traffic – has decreased as much as 70 per cent.

Ronnie G’s, previously Geoff’s on the Corner, opened one week after the May 15 fire. Gillespie was a co-owner of Geoff’s on the Corner.

May researched the area after being asked to reopen the restaurant.

“With Laura’s Coffee across there and all the other businesses, it was such a constant flow of people. It was a bustling area, and now it’s almost like a ghost town,” May told Peace Arch News last Friday.

“The amount of people that would come over from that complex were three to 10 people a day. It can constitute $200 to $500.”

Mary-Ann Germyn, waitress at Clancy’s Tea Cosy, said the reduction of parking has played a role.

“As the waitress here and the only server, business is building up again, but at the beginning it was slow. The lack of parking spaces affected us. Most of our customers are older and they don’t want to walk a long way to get to us,” she said.

Approximately 10 parking spaces in front of the burnt-out building are cordoned off while construction crews rebuild the structure.

Colter Developments Inc., the developers in charge of reconstruction, said the project will be complete in approximately one year.

Madison Five Fashion owner, Sam – who wouldn’t provide a last name – lost “everything” in the fire.

“I’m directly across the street – right beside Damiano’s Pizza. I got totally smoked out, my store was completely empty. I was also smoked out of my house as well. I lived in a hotel with my three kids.”

Sam reopened Madison Five Fashion on Sept. 10.

“Everybody is happy that I’m back, but yeah… it’s just not the same. I look out onto a burnt building,” Sam said.

She said the business landscape now, compared to before the fire, is “a big difference.”

“And plus there’s no parking out here now. You have all the construction guys parking where they’re not supposed to be parking. All along the front of the building there was parking there and now that’s gone,” Sam said.

Sam has contacted the city about fixing the lights in front of her business. The trees in front of her store and across the street used to have lights on them.

“Now I look out and it’s pitch black. We’re talking at like 4 p.m. when it gets dark,” Sam said.

Emilio Finatti Sicilian Pizzeria owner, Tony Tabsas, said he noticed a slight drop in business since the fire.

“I wouldn’t say it’s significant. We’re a pizza shop, we rely on a lot of people calling and coming to pick up,” Tabsas said.

He said the situation might be different if he relied on customers eating inside his shop.

“A lot of the people that lived across the road were our customers. Now they’re no longer there but like I said, most of our customers call us.”

May said the community needs to come together and support Five Corners businesses during the rebuilding process.

“First and foremost our hearts go out to the people that lost their home. First and foremost,” May said.

White Rock RCMP said the fire was “deliberately set,” but have not announced any charges.

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

Just Posted

Edgewood Elementary at 16666 23 Ave., behind the City of Surrey’s operations building, is to open in January 2021. (File photo)
New catchment areas for South Surrey elementaries

Changes to take effect as pair of new schools open, starting next week

The B.C. electoral district of Surrey-Cloverdale. (Image via Elections B.C.)
Voter turnout down across Surrey-Cloverdale

Turnout across the province down from 2017

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the virus that causes COVID-19. (The Canadian Press/Niaid-Rml via AP image)
COVID-19 exposure at Sands Secondary in North Delta

The case marks the seventh exposure at a school in Delta since classes resumed in September

‘Camp Covid’ for Halloween at Surrey home where decorator ponders trick-or-treat numbers

Dr. Henry: ‘This is not the year we’re going to have hundreds of kids going to hundreds of houses’

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Glenn Rose

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

FILE – B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner, Senator David Braley speaks after the CFL announced Vancouver will host the 2014 Grey Cup championship football game during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Lions owner David Braley dead at 79

Braley had bought the CFL team prior to 1997 season

File Photo
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Agassiz Seniors Community

First declared outbreak in Agassiz-Harrison since pandemic began

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

NDP Leader John Horgan speaks with the owner of a barber shop while campaigning in Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Campaigning was restricted by the coronavirus pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s B.C. majority came with historically low voter turnout

Barely half of eligible voters cast ballots in snap election

The family and friends of Abbotsford resident Kaitlyn Cassels have launched a GoFundMe for her after she suffered serious injuries following a bad fall on Thursday night. (Submitted)
GoFundMe created for Abbotsford woman after horrible fall

19-year-old Kaitlyn Cassels suffers many injuries after falling 27 feet off Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge

A police pursuit ended with an arrest in Williams Lake on Highway 97 Sunday afternoon. (Facebook video screenshot)
Video catches police pursuit that ends with man kicked, punched in Williams Lake

A video of the arrest is getting widely shared on social media

Most Read