I’m indebted to my friend, Rod Clarke, one of the proprietors of The Paper Hound Bookshop, for pointing out the book on which this post is based. It is called Where to Eat in Canada: 1971 and is a guide to dining establishments in the nation that were judged by the editors (Anne Hardy and Sondra Gotlieb) to be worthy of note that year. 1971 doesn’t seem so awfully long ago to the likes of me and those of my generation (and earlier), but it was, surprisingly, half a century ago!
Included in this little guide are several listings for Vancouver, only one of which is still a restaurant (with a name that is almost the same, today).  In this post, I’ll pull out a few of the listings for further consideration.
Hy’s Encore, 637 Hornby
Hy’s Encore (today, Hy’s Steakhouse) is the only one of the Vancouver listings in Where to Eat which is still at its location of 50 years ago. The earliest mention of Encore in the local press was in 1962, so that is likely its first year in business. It was located across the street from The Cave nightclub (and, later, was adjacent to Sugar Daddy’s Discotheque).
According to Where to Eat,
The decor is the same the country over: the wall of books (glued in place), the paneling and the mirrors, all designed to give an air of conventional opulence.Where to Eat in Canada: 1971, p.153
The crimes against books appear to have been removed , thankfully, but I suspect that the cave-like entry to Encore looks much the same today as it did in ’71.
Today’s Hy’s seems to have retained its classic feel of a stereotypically dimly lit, darkly and heavily furnished men’s club. It’s a minor puzzle to me how Hy’s has been able to sustain itself at its Hornby location for nearly 60 years. Probably it’s a testament to quality steak and seafood prepared and served well.
La Cote D’Azur, 1216 Robson Street
This French restaurant (which is “french riviera” en Francais), went out of business in 1995 as it faced demolition that year for redevelopment of the property. 
Where to Eat enthused:
Inside the old converted house, the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed and the service deft and welcoming. The prices are rather high but the food is superb . . . . The menu is in French, and owners, Maurice Richez and Alex Katz, maintain that every dish is a specialty of the house.Where to Eat in Canada: 1971, p. 151
Iaci’s Casa Capri, 1020 Seymour Street
In the 1970s, this little Italian restaurant (according to one source, the first such in Vancouver) was located directly across the street from The Penthouse nightclub on Seymour (today the furnished apartment complex called “Level” stands in its place). It was open from 1939-1983.
This may well be the most unusual restaurant in Vancouver. In fact it isn’t even a restaurant in the ordinary sense. It’s the Iaci family home and has been for at least 25 years. The family are all still living in the old house, and meals are prepared individually in the family kitchen.The dining-room upstairs will hold 35 people and there’s a basement room for banquets. Mama Iaci’s kitchen is also in the basement, and there she personally supervises the preparation of food, as often as not doing things herself.Where to Eat in Canada: 1971, p. 154
Jade Palace, 252 East Pender Street
Where to Eat begins its listing for the Jade Palace as follows:
The manager of this popular Chinese restaurant is a man with a sense of humour and a taste for large and varied menus. C. C. Sun is his name. He says the C. C. stands for Canadian Club and maybe it does.Where to Eat in Canada: 1971, p. 155.
The C. C., in fact, stood for Chia-Cheng, not Canadian Club. And, apparently, the Jade Palace became known as the first place in Vancouver that served the ever-popular dim sum.
Where to Eat isn’t a hugely humorous work, but there are occasional sentences that cause one to smile, as did this one in the Jade Palace write-up: “Crabmeat over Chinese greens is a good buy at 2.50, but one suspects the crab may have arrived fresh from the sea after a stop-over in the can” (Where to Eat in Canada: 1971, p. 155).
Schnitzel House, 1060 Robson Street
The Schnitzel House on Robson Street was an institution from 1960. It closed in 1985, moving with the new owner (briefly) to 830 W. Pender.
This is as warm and intimate as an Alpine inn. As the name implies, the specialty is schnitzels and they’re first rate. There are ten varieties on the menu, priced from 2.50 for the wiener to 3.20 for the cordon bleu, which is stuffed with Swiss cheese and ham.Where to Eat in Canada, p. 160
By 1985, Robsonstrasse was beginning its transformation to Rodeo Drive North.
If you’re interested in viewing all of the Vancouver listings in the guide, I’ve reproduced those in a pdf document, below.
To my surprise, Where to Eat, remains a going concern. The guide continues to be published; it was first published in 1967. The principal editor is today the same person who edited the 1971 edition: Anne Hardy.
- Okay, two, if you include the Sylvia Hotel.
- It is difficult to be certain based on the photo by Crystal Schick (Calgary Herald) at this link, but it appears that the Calgary version of Hy’s may still have the pasted books!
- Many thanks to Maurice Guibord for his assistance with figuring out when La Cote went out of business.