During the late 1990's

Rolli: What a difference a decade makes

Rolli Gunderson details the differences between Lake Cowichan in 1994 and 2014.

A stroll through town isn’t what it was 10 years ago. Back in 2004 most of the stores were thriving, resulting in few empty storefronts, while today many businesses and store fronts sit empty.

According to the local newspapers of the day, things were hopping back in 2004. The Riverside Inn bought half page newspaper ads promoting their pub events, restaurant and cold beer and wine store.

One popular pub event was the Thursday night Karaoke, with Rock to DJ Music on Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday afternoons featured acts like “Bring back the 70’s” followed by tribute bands such as the group, 100 % AC/DC.

The Riverside restaurant Cedar Moon featured entrée specials including Prime Rib, Lemon Peppered Halibut, Steamed Clams and Sunday Brunch. Today the Riverside sits empty except for the beer and wine store.

The Honey Pot Pub and Restaurant in Honeymoon Bay was open seven days a week and served what they called “Amazing Daily Food Specials” offering a special every night of the week. Anything from Jalapeno Peppers to Fish and Chips; prime rib for two to steak and crab legs were available.

The restaurant also offered lunch and breakfast specials as well as pizza delivery. To top it off, the Honey Pot also sold cold beer and wine. Honeymoon Bay’s Honey Pot Pub is now a thing of the past.

In 2005, the Lake Cowichan Co-op grocery store closed its doors forever after operating continuously for 55 years. The building, situated on South Shore Road, eventually saw new tenants with the arrival some years later of The Bargain Store. In the summer of 2013 a Fields store moved into the building saving the town from another main street vacancy.

The Elks Club was open for business and in April of that year they hosted a Survivor Night at the Elks Hall. The “quadrathon” featured two-person teams playing cribbage, darts, pool and mini basketball toss. The event was popular enough to be repeated the following month. Sadly, the Elks building is now just another vacant building on main street.

Another local business operated a co-ed gym where men and women could “get into shape.” It also rented out space for a hair salon and esthetics. These businesses no longer operate.

Not only did business thrive back then, there were many local events sponsored by local clubs and organizations, some still present to this day.

For example, during a specific two week time period one could attend the Kinsman Club Annual Stag (if you were a male) with the proceeds put towards the Kinsmen Ducky Derby. For the ladies (and others) a seniors Strawberry Tea took place at the community hall.  An annual benefit dance, headlined by rock and roll band The Crongy’s also featured local group Super 88, played at the arena.

 

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