Vancouver Sun

» Vie’s ChiCken and steak house, 209 union st.


Sometimes, it’s mistakenly said that Jimi Hendrix’s grandmothe­r owned this restaurant in Hogan’s Alley, the hub of the black community from the 1920s to the ’ 70s, when the Georgia Viaduct was rammed through the neighbourh­ood. The correct version is that Grandma worked at this restaurant. ( She lived nearby.) Vie Moore ran the restaurant from 1948-75. Black entertaine­rs such as Sammy Davis Jr. would eat there when in town because racism barred him from other places. “ She got a lot of the Dean Martins of the world when they played at the Cave or Isy’s [ night clubs],” says Bing Smith, a longtime Vancouveri­te. “ My father-in-law frequented the place and it was known for incredible steaks cooked in cast-iron fry pans. It was a late-night place, so a lot of celebritie­s hung out there.” Norman Young, 85, saw dancer Martha Graham there. “ The only reason was, I was with [ impresario] Hugh Pickett. He brought her in.” Young liked the chicken for its moistness. “ She put some sort of rub on it, then put it in the oven. She had barbecued dishes that she did out back.” He says his recall isn’t perfect as he’d often had too much to drink there.

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