Mac's opening, three restaurants now closed 

Merrill confirms planned closure late next month at Whistler Village Centre

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOHN FRENCH - SIGN OF THE TIME Doc Branigan's at the corner of Highway 99 and Lake Placid Road is one of a number of restaurants to close in the last few days.
  • photo by John french
  • SIGN OF THE TIME Doc Branigan's at the corner of Highway 99 and Lake Placid Road is one of a number of restaurants to close in the last few days.

Spring is here and it means strong businesses are surviving while some struggling businesses are making the tough choice to pack it in.

Mac's convenience store will be setting up shop in Whistler in just a matter of weeks and while the store shelves are being stocked a number of other Whistler businesses are counting losses.

The Elephant & Castle in the Delta Whistler Village Suites stopped operations late last month.

Property manager Drew Meredith said Calgary-based restaurant chain Original Joe's has purchased the Elephant & Castle brand. The new owners of the chain confirmed through a public relations representative that it has no plans at this time to open an Original Joe's outlet in Whistler.

According to Meredith, the future of the space is wide open.

"Whistler is a very competitive environment for food," said Meredith.

Because of that he said the space at the Delta might be renovated to create a smaller food operation and some new retail spaces.

Meanwhile, at Creekside there is a sign on the front door of Doc Branigan's thanking its customers and apologizing for any inconvenience created by the closure of the restaurant.

The sign reads: "Doc Branigan's is now closed due to the fact that this building has been foreclosed upon by the bank."

While details are not clear Rob Ward, a spokesperson for Players Chophouse, which owns the space rented by Doc Branigan's, said he doesn't know if the closure is temporary or permanent.

"At this point we're not sure what Doc Branigan's is doing," Ward wrote in an e-mail message to the Pique. "Any contact I've tried to make has not been responded to."

David Branigan, Doc Branigan's managing partner, would only offer a brief statement when contacted by the Pique.

"It is not a tenable business situation at this time," he said.

Branigan was working toward changing the liquor license so the restaurant could offer more entertainment varieties in the space but, he said, the shareholders decided to cut their losses and cease operations.

Branigan told the Pique when the operation first opened last year that the owner of the building and the holder of the liquor license offered him a very favourable lease rate to operate in the space.

Back in the village, the doors of the Pizza Café are also closed and have been for more than a week. Miro and Dana Kolvek own the European café at the corner of Lorimer Road and Main Street. Miro Kolvek was one of the six candidates in the running for the job of mayor in the last municipal election. Messages were not returned by the newspaper's press deadline.

The Savage Beagle also closed last month. For more on that story, turn to page 58.

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