Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Jimi Hendrix Shrine

On 20 July 2009, Vincent Fodera, owner of 207 Union Street, celebrated the conversion of the building into a shrine for the music legend Jimi Hendrix. The small building, now used as a common room for the Creekside Student Residence which faces onto Main Street, was once apparently associated with Vie's Chicken and Steak House, a famous restaurant owned by one of the key members of Vancouver's black community. Vie and her husband Robert ran this East End institution for three decades — it was Hogan's Alley's most prominent black-owned business. Recalling the presence of the Hendrix family in the old neighbourhood, Fodera opened the shrine up to the public for this special event.

Three short video interviews with Fodera by AHA Media can be found here: one, two and three. And there is an article from the Vancouver Courier here. (Both incorrectly spell his surname, which is "Fodera" rather than "Fedora.")

That's the owner, Vincent Fodera, second from the right in the blue and white shirt.

207 ½ Union Street

Back in the day, this structure was sometimes listed as "207 ½ Union Street" — part of the beautifully un-uniform way the old neighbourhood flourished before the advent of strict codes.

I'm pretty sure this guy won the look-alike contest.

Inside the Hendrix Shrine

A view of Vie's Chicken and Steak House from the top of the Cobalt Hotel, 1970s