Hogan's Alley Cafe is a new coffee shop on the edge of Chinatown. It's along the historic “Hogan's Alley” area at the corner of Union and Gore, just at the East end of the block, down from the Jimi Hendrix Shrine @ Main & Union, off the lane.
I asked owner Jennifer Halley why she re-named the former Bean Around the World, as Hogan's Alley. Her answer simply was to reflect the historical nature of Vancouver's heritage. Eventually, she would like to add more artwork and artifacts to acknowledge the lost chapter of Vancouver's only Black neighborhood, which was torn down to create the Georgia Viaduct connector to Prior St.
We chatted about the area, and asked if she knew about Black History Month in February. Jennifer said that some of the organizers had just been in that morning and were looking to set something up in the new year, as one of them is Terry Hunter, creator of the Heart of the City Festival with his partner Savannah Walling. I shared with Jennifer, that I had been featured in the recent Heart of the City Festival, when I moderated a showing of the CBC documentary Generations: The Chan Legacy. My great-great-grandfather Rev. Chan Yu Tan, had ministered at the old Chinese United Church, which used to stand at the Northeast corner of Pender and Dunlevy St., before it was torn down in the 70's to make way for condominiums. My grandmother and her siblings, as well as my parents all went to Strathcona Elementary School. The houses they lived in still stand on Pender and Princess Streets.
Food! I asked Jennifer for the house specialties. She made me an Americano coffee and served me up one of the pan-pressed eggwich with feta cheese and spinach. Delicious! But the favorite at the cafe is the eggwich with bacon! Already sold out 🙁
Jennifer takes a pose on top of the coffee maker, after she climbed onto the top of the counter. And yes… she is 7 months pregnant.
It was a wonderful visit a a new-to-me coffee shop, and a great meeting with Jennifer and her husband Mike!
More later… Merry Christmas.