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

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility diagnosed with COVID-19

Fraser Health said a rapid response team is on site

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted black

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

South Surrey resident blames city after house floods

Marilyn Molter said debris from city-planted maple trees easily clogs street drains

Surrey’s Johnston Heights reporting COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Senior White Rock election worker not concerned about safety at the polls

‘Casting your vote will be like getting a take out coffee,’ says Elections BC CEO

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

Most Read