Kingsway, which begins on the eastern side of the Triangle Building, and cuts diagonally across Vancouver as it heads south to New Westminster, was originally an ancient indigenous trail. When a wagon road was built over it and opened in 1860, it was known as False Creek Trail and then Westminster Road. When the road was improved and paved, it re-opened in 1913 as Kingsway. The two businesses with storefronts along it are Budgies Burritos, established in 2005, and Dig It Select Vintage.
Budgies has its own set of square wood benches and Macey Budgell, the restaurant’s owner, got them from the same guy as Gideon had for Gene Cafe. She recalled that when they were cut and ready, they were delivered to the building around 4 am in the morning! With their local origin and design, Macey sees the benches as having a very Pacific Northwest welcoming feel and I agree and love them.
The Triangle Block was originally known as the Wosk Block, after the merchant, developer and philanthropist Ben Wosk, who was the original owner and had a furniture store there until 1960. It is a rare Vancouver example of the Streamline Moderne architectural style that developed out of 1930s Art Deco. It emphasized a horizontal orientation and curved lines and included features like corner windows and glass blocks, which can be found on the building. Under the building’s grey stucco is the original jade green, black and, on the front corner, red vitrolite, a pigmented structural glass popular from the 1920s to 50s for its ultra modern look. An exposed area of the entrance to Dig It Select Vintage reveals a section of this sleek material.
The two cosy storefronts along Kingsway both have a downstairs section and a nook and cranny feel that adds to their charm. Two of my favourite pairs of pants came from Black Hole Designs, which was in the space where Dig It now is, in the late 1990s. I vividly remember the child-like excitement I felt when I went downstairs into the sort of secret space that was the change room. Macey says that a part of the soul of her business comes from the character of the building and Sandra Sanders, owner of Dig It Vintage, has noted that the buildings in the Triangle Block created by Broadway, Kingsway and Main Street, “are not perfect but people appreciate wabi sabi/shaby chic.” They sure do. Budgies and Dig It are representative of the kinds of creative, independent businesses the Triangle Building has been home to for decades.
Now let’s find out about the businesses on Main Street.