Community ‘cornerstone’ closing for good

Locals disappointed to say goodbye to the Cornerstone Café’s familiar space

 

One of the Victoria community’s ‘cornerstones’ announced earlier today that it is closing for good.

After 12 years, the Cornerstone Café on Gladstone Avenue, owned by Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group Society (NRG) is closing to make room for the Parsonage Café which will be moving locations at the end of the month.

Keshia Keele studied at the café during her years at the University of Victoria before graduating in 2015, and says even among a crowd of coffee junkies – herself included – she remembers Cornerstone Café as a warm and cozy place.

“The way the sun would shine through the windows and create an atmosphere that felt similar to home, I found it comfortable to study there,” Keele said. “I’ll also remember it for the people watching, you’d always find characters nearby.”

Fernwood NRG purchased the Cornerstone building in 2005 when it was still boarded up and the neighbourhood was struggling.

Since then, reinvestments into the heart of the neighbourhood have led to a huge turnaround in the community. Buildings have been upgraded, new buildings are under construction, and people have consistently supported the café over the years.

Though there are mixed emotions about the Cornerstone’s closing doors, Lee Herrin, Executive Director of Fernwood NRG, believes the community will continue to show their support when Parsonage Café reopens.

“When the new place opens, people will still need coffee,” Herrin said. “I think the [Parsonage Café] owners are moving a very successful business…so [the community] is not actually losing their neighbourhood café, it’s just under different ownership.”

Multiple locals responded to the news on a Facebook post made by the café where it was described as a stake in the ground and meeting place for the neighbourhood to regrow.

“We feel very happy to pass the torch to people who live in Fernwood and have run the much-loved Parsonage Café for so many years,” the company wrote. “It has been a great pleasure to serve our neighbours and work with such fantastic co-workers.”

The café is expected to open as soon as Feb. 1.

 

 

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