Elite Cafe - Penticton, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 29.888 W 119° 35.525
11U E 312316 N 5486061
Quick Description: A restaurant since 1936, the Elite Cafe and its iconic neon sign are now gone, the large sign coming down in 2019.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 10/8/2021 5:32:24 PM
Waymark Code: WM153G5
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:
PIC For 60 some years the large neon Elite Cafe sign had been an icon along Penticton's Main Street. Given special dispensation to keep its sign in the 1970s, that "special dispensation" was no longer in effect in 2019 when the sign finally came down, to be replaced with the present Wild Ginger sign, proclaiming the name of the present establishment. While the iconic sign wasn't erected until the 1950s, the Elite Cafe had been at the location since 1936, built by then owners of the Pandora Cafe, on the corner of Main Street & Wade Avenue, at the south end of the block.

Interesting side note:
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once visited The Elite Café.
Map goes Here Until the restaurant was taken over by new owners, to become Wild Ginger Asian Cuisine, it had remained a classic diner, serving classic menu items in a classic setting. One patron noted that it was "a restaurant that hasn't had a makeover in 80 years."

That, though, is, regretfully from a historic perspective, a thing of the past, the restaurant having being completely renovated and redecorated to reflect its new style and its new menu. The Wild Ginger offers popular Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes. Their extensive menu includes Soups, Appetizers, noodles & rice, and specialty dishes.

Elite Cafe
Description of Historic Place:
The Elite Cafe historic place is made up of a one storey commercial building, its 1950s free-standing neon sign, and its interior seating, located in Penticton, British Columbia.

Heritage Value:
The Elite Cafe has historic and social value as a symbol of the origins and continuity of cafe culture on Main Street from the 1930s to the present day. The Peterson family opened the Pandora Cafe in the corner of Wade Avenue and Main Street in 1927. In 1936 they built the historic place on the current location and renamed it the Elite Cafe. It was strategically located across from the new Capital Theatre and next to Woolworths. The Elite Cafe is the only building on Main Street to have retained its 1950s neon sign, a symbol of a past era of commercial signage. The cafe was given special dispensation to keep its large sign when other signage was removed in the 1970s, a testament to its status as a landmark on Main Street.

The interior of the cafe retains its 1950s decor of streamlined metal and vinyl booths and tables, an important survival of art modern interior decoration. The cafe was for many years at the centre of civic social life and was visited by film stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

It also has social value for its continuous use as an eating establishment with its original interior booths intact.

Character-Defining Elements:
Key elements that define the heritage character of the CN Railway Bridge include its:
  • Key elements that define the heritage character of the Elite Cafe include its:
  • Free-standing neon sign
  • Interior booths

  • From Historic Places Canada
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

340 Main Street
Penticton, BC
V2A 5C3

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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