A new condominium project is in the future for downtown Kitchener, forcing businesses in one block of Queen Street to close or relocate.
88 Queen Street will be the home of the new building, which will be created by IN8 Developments. According to IN8’s website, the condo tower is “coming soon to Downtown Kitchener.”
Goldie’s Convenience Wine Bar is one two businesses still operating in the block.
Lindsay Cameron, the owner of Goldie’s, opened the establishment in September 2021.
“The goal was to sell natural wine, which I’m very passionate about, and just very simple, classic, well-made cocktails in a unique space that’s pretty and a little bit more feminine than most spaces would be in town,” Cameron said.
It took a long time to create the perfect setting in the rented unit.
“We built out everything – the bar, the kitchen area, the extra bathroom. The inspiration is sort of a ‘60s or ‘70s public pool,” she explained.
After enjoying the space for a little over a year, Cameron said she received an official demolition notice on Dec. 31, 2022.
“I was kind of shocked,” she said.
“I knew the building had been sold through word of mouth, but I didn’t think that they could demolish the building that quickly. I don’t know if they actually can either. I’m sure there’s a lot of red tape, but to ask me to leave in July when it might just sit here empty for two years – that’s kind of what I think will happen.”
A new condo tower is planned for this block of Queen Street. (Stefanie Davis/CTV Kitchener)
Cameron is hoping to stay open after July, but isn’t sure if it’ll be possible. In the meantime, she’s looking for a new space while making the most of her final few weeks on Queen Street.
“I’m working with lawyers, as I should be, to make sure that it’s the best situation for me,” she said.
“I’m also doing pop-ups with both Waterloo and Kitchener to try to meet more people or expand our horizons with the business.”
Far Out Flicks, a film store that first opened in 2002 on the Queen Street block, closed its doors this past January.
FAR OUT FLICKS DESCRIBES SITUATION AS ‘BITTERSWEET’
Rolf Glemsor, the owner of Far Out Flicks, owned the space instead of renting. He ultimately decided to sell his storefront to the developers.
“If there’s going to be any condo development, they need this [store]. It’s dead centre, so you can’t build around us,” he said.
“I turned 61 this year, so it was time to do something else.”
Glemsor said he was first approached about selling during the pandemic. He thought it through for a few months before making his decision.
“At that time, we didn’t know what was going to happen with the pandemic,” he said. “It was bittersweet.”
Instead of shutting down completely, Far Out Flicks is still operating out of Glemsor’s home. He’s taking orders through the same phone number and email address the original store had.
“I still have old customers that call me and I’ll order over the phone for people,” he explained.
“It’s not as much as it used to be, but going from a 50 to 60 hour work week to 20 to 30 hours – I look forward to it.”
CTV News reached out to IN8 Developments for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.