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Decades future is still uncertain

Decades Coffee Club has been in its downtown Chilliwack location since 1998. Owner Ron Laser received an eviction notice and has to be out by June 3 to make way for a youth shelter. - Paul J. Henderson
Decades Coffee Club has been in its downtown Chilliwack location since 1998. Owner Ron Laser received an eviction notice and has to be out by June 3 to make way for a youth shelter.
— image credit: Paul J. Henderson

Decades Coffee Club may get to stay in its downtown location after all, as City Life Church is withdrawing its application for a temporary use permit (TUP) to allow for a homeless youth centre in the building.

A groundswell of support for the popular coffee shop emerged last week after it was learned Decades owner Ron Laser was told by his current landlord he had to be out by June 3 to make way for the Cyrus Centre.

A Cash Mob is scheduled for March 15, an online petition to save Decades was created, and hundreds of comments were received on the Times website and on Facebook.

A City Life press release issued Friday said that while the building at 45846 Wellington Ave. was deemed by a facility search team to be the “most logical choice” for the Cyrus Centre, the TUP will be withdrawn and the church will no longer buy the building.

“City Life Church will continue to actively engage in a search to find an alternate location,” the release said. “We remain completely committed to seeing Cyrus Centre open its doors in our community.”

(See feature on the Cyrus Centre here.)

In an interview with the Times on Friday, Cyrus Centre spokesperson Les Talvio said the building required very few renovations and, if Decades was out by June 3, he hoped to have the centre up and running by July 1.

But Monday, Talvio maintained that while this is a step backwards, he is not disappointed or discouraged by the turn of events.

“I’m not discouraged,” he said. “I’m discouraged that the good news got missed out. One thing people are saying is that we need something like this. That’s really encouraging.

“We want to be really respectful so we are not going to use up any existing commercial real estate downtown and that is important for us.”

The story received considerable attention last week when it was reported that after 16 years in its current location, Decades and Laser were essentially being evicted by his landlord.

As of Wednesday, Laser said he was still unable to comment on whether or not Decades would be able to stay in its current location but he would make an announcement soon.

The Cash Mob Chilliwack event will take place March 15 at Decades. This is an all-day event where attendees are encouraged to come out and spend a little money at a local business.

Local Cash Mob organizers Scott McVetty and Dale Johnson were able to get 1,500 people out to eat Indian food in Chilliwack on one day last year after the owners of two local restaurants received racist emails.

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