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

Suspect in Surrey forcible confinement arrested in Toronto

Constable Richard Wright, of the Surrey RCMP, said William Daniels-Sey was arrested on Feb. 16

GoFundMe started for former White Rock man who suffered hemorrhage in Dubai

Family friend suspects hospital bill to be in the hundreds of thousands

Trial for White Rock fentanyl charge rescheduled for August

Navjot Cheema charged following May 2018 cocaine, fentanyl seizure

Construction begins on Highway 91/17 improvements in Delta

Project includes new interchanges at Highway 17/Highway 91 Connector and at River Road/Highway 17

Trade sends Surrey NHLer Brenden Dillon to Washington

‘We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,’ says Caps GM

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Langley teen who died of apparent drug overdose to receive a hockey-themed memorial

Police report on Carson Crimeni case now in the hands of Crown counsel

Langley mother struck down in ‘terrifying’ crosswalk near elementary school

It was an incident long foretold by Shortreed Elementary parents and students

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Most Read