Residents in Hope and beyond are bidding farewell to the Hope Drive-In and Restaurant.
Conversations with The Standard reveal bittersweet emotions from longtime residents who have seen the restaurant through the decades.
Gordon Younie, his wife Caroline, and sister Jean Perry have decided to retire from the restaurant that their family has run since 1962.
“That’s the way things go. Things change. Nothing stays the same forever,” said Hilbert Corbett, owner of Hope Ready Mix who has also lived in Hope all his life. “I’m sorry to see it closing, but I realize that Gordie and Caroline are starting to get a little older and they want to retire, so I guess that’s their prerogative.
“My wife and I have always been impressed with their hanging baskets, and they’ve always decorated the place for the different occasions of the year — very nicely.”
For Ernie Murakami, who moved to Hope in 1960, he expressed similar regret at the restaurant’s closure.
Murakami reflects upon a time when the Murakamis had a relationship that went beyond patronage of the Younies’ restaurant. Murakami used to play golf with Gordon’s father, Jim Younie, and one of Murakami’s two sons used to play hockey with Gordon’s brother.
“I feel very sad about it,” said Murakami. “I really feel it’s a loss to the community.
“I have nothing but good praise about the restaurant itself. It will be fairly missed by my family because it was a regular visit.”
When Murakami’s three children and two grandchildren, visit Hope from other parts of the Fraser Valley, they would often dine at the Drive-In.
Murakami said he enjoyed the all-rounded menu, with a “good reputation for healthy food.”
Mayor Wilfried Vicktor remembered the days when he frequented the Drive-In around 1989 to 1992 for coffee, when he worked in maintenance for the school district.
“It’s obviously sad when there’s a loss of employment, but hopefully it will be replaced by even larger employment opportunities,” said Mayor Wilfried Vicktor. “Staff was always very friendly, it’s definitely a nice hangout spot for locals.”
Vicktor said the District of Hope has not received any formal applications that could hint at the future of the Drive-In.
Coun. Dusty Smith also gives thumbs up to the service he gets at the Drive-In.
“It’s always been number one,” said Smith.
Smith particularly enjoys eating eggs benedict to cure a hangover.
“The eggs benny — every time I go there, either on Saturday or Sunday morning, after a hockey tournament,” said Smith. “It’s going to be a sad day seeing it close. Definitely been around forever as long as I know.”