As downtown construction continues to expand, a decades old community-favourite restaurant will be leaving its iconic location to make way for a residential development by 2020.
According to Pluto’s owner, Brun Dahlquist, the 31-year-old diner is being “renovicted” by Sakura Developments to build an upcoming condominium complex.
“It’s the fate of downtown victoria in these times,” Dahlquist told Victoria Buzz. “At every corner you can see a new condo building going up.”
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After leasing the same space for over three consecutive decades, Dahlquist was told that Pluto’s had just one year to leave the property by April 2020.
“Usually [property owners say] ‘it’ll take us a couple years to get our act together for so you can stay there for a while’, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this time,” said Dahlquist.
“I was basically informed that I have until April 2020 to get myself out of here.”
While Pluto’s may be leaving their Cook St location by the spring of next year, the team is looking to find a new home somewhere in the community.
“It always comes back to the people…”
First established by Dahlquist and his business partner in 1988, Pluto’s Diner has been a Cook Street landmark for decades.
While its bright neon sign, vintage aesthetic, and tasty food may be what visitors remember most, Dahlquist believes that the best part of Pluto’s has always been the community.
“It always comes back to the people,” he said. “I’ve got third generation families coming in, guys with their young kids saying ‘hey, I used to come here with my dad and now I’ve brought my son’.”
“There actually have been three generations [at a table], a grandfather, dad, and child all eating lunch together and they all have their own memories here.”
On the other side of the table, Dahlquist is thankful for all of the staff that have been a part of Pluto’s over 30+ years.
“We actually had one guy who came in whose parents met when they were both working here 25 years ago.”
While Pluto’s original location may be closing down, Dahlquist is confident that fans of the diner will remember the brand and join the restaurant wherever they move to next…
Hopefully, for many more generations to come.