Paul Liberatore

Paul: 604-788-0463 |

Categories

It's last call for the Mountain Shadow Pub on March 28.

That's when the bartender will draw pints for the last time and owner Mike Anastasi will swing shut the heavy wooden front doors and lock them forever.

The venerable North Burnaby hangout that looks like a mountain ski chalet dropped into the middle of suburbia is making way for a new residential development.

Anastasi, the Mountain Shadow's owner for the past 11 years, says it's time to move on. As neighbouring commercial properties were transformed into townhouses and condos, the pub has become an uncomfortable fit in the area.



It was originally built in 1984 as a throwback to an old English neighbourhood pub with a West Coast twist.

That twist comes from the brick and dark wood beams, panels, and bannisters that define the pub's warren of private nooks and alcoves around a soaring three-storey open atrium.

The mouldings and brick were salvaged from the former residence of the Lieutenant Governor in Victoria that was damaged by fire in 1957. A solid brass chandelier once hung in the Colonial Theatre on Granville Street.

"It's a historically great pub," said Anastasi.

It's also a pub that's celebrated a lot of history. Countless sports championships were cheered and jeered by patrons on the pub's televisions and big screens. Members of the Vancouver Canucks used to drop by when the team was based at the Pacific Coliseum in nearby East Vancouver. Burnaby entertainer Michael Bublé visits with his grandfather when he's in town.

As the closest pub to Simon Fraser University, it was a renowned student destination as well as an employer for many of them trying to earn a few bucks to help pay for tuition or pay down their beer tab.

Anastasi himself was first introduced to the pub's unique charms by some SFU student buddies when he was 19. It quickly became a favourite haunt and the owner at the time used to joke he'd eventually return as an owner.

When he did, Anastasi couldn't believe his good fortune.

"It's a great feeling when this place is busy," said Anastasi. "It feels like a big house party."

With that party winding down, Anastasi figures there will be lots of current and former customers packing the place for one last trip down memory lane. Some have already put dibs on some of the pieces of decor, like the unique tabletops embedded with collections of holiday photos, bottle openers and fly fishing lures.

A couple of efforts to save the building and move it to a new home along Hastings Street or over to Vancouver Island fell through because it was prohibitively expensive.

Treasured items like framed hockey jerseys signed by Stan Smyl, Joe Sakic and Markus Naslund will go into storage for when Anastasi eventually resurrects his pub license at a new location. Other mementos such as the stained glass windows will probably be auctioned off.

When the wrecking crew finally moves in, a unique piece of Burnaby's history will be lost, said Anastasi.

"It was supposed to be the future of pubs," he said. "You can never duplicate this."

Read full post