Three side-by-side downtown Vernon businesses are for sale following a tough couple of years. (Realtor.ca photo)

3 neighbouring Vernon businesses put up for sale

2 restaurants and cheese shop right next to each other

A row of three businesses are now listed for sale on 30th Avenue in Vernon, along with a growing list of others.

The Wedge Cheesery is listed for $125,000. Co-owner Matt MacLaren explained that with two young kids, a second location in Kelowna and a second job as a real estate agent, the workload was simply too much.

“We’ve had great success,” MacLaren said of the Vernon business. “Even during COVID we stayed fairly busy. A couple little dark spots just like any small business during COVID, but overall it’s been a pretty successful venture.”

Midtown Bistro is listed for $59,900. Owner Kelly Lacroix said she and her husband are hoping to leave the restaurant with somebody who will love it as much as they have.

“We have the chance to be mortgage free on the lake right now,” she said. “And we started this business renting with nothing.”

Lacroix has been vocal about her displeasure at having to require vaccine passports. In September 2021 she spent a week in non-compliance with the passport requirement while working with health and liquor inspectors, but started complying after it was clear their business would otherwise be closed.

“I feel like I’ve adapted and re-complied so much I’m not really sure how much this business is still mine,” she said.

Midtown Bistro has only been listed on the market for a few days, but Lacroix said they’ve already had a bidding war.

Next door, Harry’s Fish and Chips is listed at $140,000.

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce general manager Dan Proulx said he’s unaware of all the factors that went into the three businesses’ decision to sell as they are not chamber members, but added there are positive developments happening downtown with “several new businesses popping up.”

Since being closed for 22 months due to provincial health orders, the owner of Status Nightclub has listed the business and building for $1.5 million. But he is still hoping to open soon.

“This has been extremely tough,” owner Saverio Loria said. “I’ve taken huge losses.”

He is not overly excited to sell, and says if it doesn’t go then he is OK with that too as he’d like to bring nightlife back to town as soon as restrictions ease.

“There is so much uncertainty and I don’t want to lose everything.”

Loria plans to take the club off the market once he reopens.

“I can’t wait to reopen, I know Vernon is ready to have their nightlife back. Fingers crossed that’ll be soon.”

Just four months after Avant Brands announced its latest cannabis cultivation facility in Vernon, the massive 60,000 square foot facility is now for sale. The property, formerly a film studio and originally the Far West Factory, is listed for $10.3 million. But Avant isn’t going anywhere.

“We are tenant of the building at Kosmina Road with a long-term lease, and our landlord is currently exploring selling the property, which would not affect our lease, license or operations,” Avant founder and CEO Norton Singhaven said.

READ MORE: Cannabis company growing with Vernon plant

Another downtown property, where Dorian’s Greek Taverna, Local Losers, Deans Tailor Shop and Samosa Joe’s is, has been listed for $1.49 million.

Less than a block away, a commercial building home to Corbett Office Plus is for sale for $2.49 million.

Mom and pop shop Mug N Muffin is listed for $90,000.

The Blast From the Past antique store on Highway 97 is for sale. The 21-year-old business, including whatever items are left, are listed for $325,000.

The Downtown Vernon Association’s new executive director Keelan Murtagh says there is no doubt the constantly changing COVID-19 restrictions have impacted all businesses and forced a shift in thinking in how each vendor conducts their business.

“While the world of business is always in flux, the DVA remains excited and committed to ensuring downtown Vernon remains a dynamic place to visit and enjoy. Since the summer, the DVA has handed out 17 welcome packages and we continue to attract new businesses to the downtown core and enjoy a membership of over 550 businesses in Vernon’s BIA (business improvement area),” Murtagh said.

The 29-year-old Accent Countertops shop on 11th Avenue is listed for $425,000.

A 29th Street property, which houses Valley Monuments, is listed for $499,000.

One of the industrial buildings at the airport is for sale for $828,000.

After nine years building itself up successfully, motorcycle shop the Hawg Pen is for sale on 18th Avenue for $425,000.

The old Royal Bank is still for sale, for $3.28 million on the corner of Highway 97 and 30th Avenue.

Long-established Centre Dry Cleaners is for sale in the plaza on 32nd Street for $749,000.

For nearly 40 years, Jim’s Place has been serving Vernon some of the best pizza in town. Now the Highway 97 business at the top of hospital hill is listed for $1.7 million.

Papa Nick’s Global Cuisine has been in the Shops at Polson for nearly six years, but is now for sale in the lease space for $174,000.

The old Okanagan Landing convenience store is still for sale, and empty, listed at $799,800 and includes the attached home.

Vernon Square Mall’s The Chopped Leaf franchise is for sale for $485,000.

READ MORE: Popular Vernon business challenge lined up for 2022

READ MORE: 2021 home sales set Canadian new record, tops previous high by 20 per cent


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