I recently purchased the print from which the above scan was produced. It was made by one of my favourite early Vancouver professional photographers, Stuart Thomson. The photo seems to have been taken in a commercial food/drink establishment, somewhere in Vancouver I’m assuming. There is no year on the print, but I’m guessing it was a fairly early Thomson image, made in the 1920s, perhaps.
After buying the print, I did quite a lot of hunting for a similar image. I didn’t have much success.
The closest I came in my search was the interior shot shown below of the Peter Pan Cafe also made by Thomson (in 1929). I thought the space shown in my print might have been an earlier incarnation of the Peter Pan at 1138 Granville Street.
This image has some features in common with the space shown in my print, but there are a number of differences, too (not least, that the space in the print appears to be wider than in the Peter Pan). At the end of the day, however, I eliminated the Peter Pan space as a possible contender by the fact that there is no evidence that it was ever a restaurant prior to it becoming the Peter Pan.*
Researchers tend to be optimistic. I continue to hope that I or someone else will eventually find a matching photo and/or some other clinching piece of evidence as to the location of the Thomson print. Perhaps not this month or this year. But eventually.
If it turns out that you figure out the location of the image, I’d appreciate hearing from you!
*B.C. Electric and Vancouver Gas Co. appear to have been occupants of the space for several years prior to it becoming the Peter Pan Cafe.
**It is called Opening Doors: Vancouver’s East End. Part of the Sound Heritage series (Vol VIII, Nos. 1 & 2). n.d. (c1980).