An out-of-this-world downtown staple is getting the boot to make way for a new development.
Pluto’s Restaurant has served home-style meals (and been known for its infamous motto, “with a great view of Uranus”) at 1150 Cook St. for 30 years.
But in April, owner Brun Dahlquist learned that his lease would not be renewed.
“It’s downtown Victoria, it’s bound to happen,” Dahlquist said, “I can throw a rock and hit nine new condo buildings.”
Dahlquist was told his lot will be used to make way for a new project by Sakura Developments, though the company has not submitted any plans to the City of Victoria. Sakura also did not reply to requests from Black Press to confirm a plan to develop the lot.
Dahlquist said that he’d attempted to purchase the land previously, but that it didn’t pan out. Over the years, he’s watched surrounding businesses continue to close down to make way for developments.
“Here’s the culmination of it: fear,” he said. “There’s always been the threat of the lease not renewing.”
Dahlquist has until April 2020 to move out, but hopes to get out sooner than later. While he’d love to stay in the downtown core to continue to serve his longtime customers, the likelihood of finding a suitable property is very unlikely.
Regardless, he hopes that his customers and longtime staff, some working there for 15 years, will join him in Pluto’s next steps.
“It is sad, it’s a landmark and it’s gonna make me cry to see it torn down,” Dahlquist said. “But, I love all my customers, that’s why I still do it. I’m moving and I want them to come with me.”
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