Alyx Graham-Taylor (left) and current owner Mari Plamondon are partnering to open up a new location for Wait’s News on Nelson Avenue later this year. Photo: Tyler Harper

Wait’s News lives! Iconic Nelson diner to relocate

Wait’s will set up shop on Nelson Avenue later this year

Wait’s News is staying in business.

The 82-year-old diner will close its current location at the corner of Ward and Baker Streets on Sept. 8. The business will then relocate to its new home at 323 Nelson Ave. featuring a slightly changed name — Wait’s on Nelson.

Owner Mari Plamondon and employee Alyx Graham-Taylor will run the diner as partners, while Plamondon’s husband Jim steps into retirement.

Plamondon said Monday it was important to her that she brought the diner’s name along to the its new home, which doesn’t yet have an official opening date.

“To honour Walter Wait and his sense of community and what his business meant to the community. That’s what Jim and I have tried to do for the last 10 years,” said Plamondon. “Alyx and I feel strongly that that’s important to continue.”

The new home, which was made possible thanks to funding from Community Futures, became necessary after the Plamondons were given a Dec. 31 notice of eviction in March by their landlords, who plan extensive renovations to the 81-year-old building at 499 Baker St.

Graham-Taylor and Plamondon said there will be some aesthetic changes from the current look, which will be the third location for the diner and newsstand Walter Wait initially opened in 1937 at 616 Baker.

The sandwich bar will return, but Graham-Taylor said the diner will feature less of the clutter that has been part of its charm.

“There’s not going to be much on the walls but there’s going to be a lot of colour, there’s going to be a lot of pattern — but not too much.”

Plamondon said the pair tried to find a new location downtown but no spaces fit their needs. Wait’s is known locally for its contributions to the street community, and Plamondon admitted she is concerned the new location isn’t centrally located.

“I realize many people who will not make the trek over there for that,” she said. “I’m involved in Ascension Lutheran Church in Rosemont. We offer free meals once a month, we have shower and laundry facilities, and I get told all the time it’s just too far away. …

“But what can we do? It’s either not do anything or do what we can do over there.”

Graham-Taylor thinks the customers who love Wait’s will still join them on Nelson Avenue. She’s a good example of the loyalty the diner has earned among its regulars. Graham-Taylor had her first job there after leaving home at 15.

That initial stint didn’t go well — Graham-Taylor says she was the first employee Mari Plamondon ever fired.

“I didn’t set foot in the store for five years,” said Graham-Taylor, now 23. “But when I did she was so welcoming, she was forgiving, she [said], ‘You know what, you were not good then, you’re great now.’ From that we built a really close friendship. She’s more like family than she is like my boss.”

Now Graham-Taylor is a part-owner.

“She’s smart and she’s not afraid to work hard. She has a really good work ethic,” said Plamondon.

“When we moved to Nelson we had a little help with moving into Greyhound. I always think everybody deserves some kind of break in life and I can’t think of anybody else I’d rather be a business partner with.”

Related:

VIDEO: Wait’s News selling off pieces of its past

Wait’s News: Nelson landmark frozen in time

Cowboy Jim’s long ride



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Kootenay Lake’s first marine waste pump-out opens

Sewage facility is located at the Prestige marina

1919: Nelson doctor drowns in Kootenay Lake saving child

And other news from a century ago in the Nelson Daily News

Lily Taylor, Levi Taylor win medals at Ogopogo Open

The local weightlifters were among seven Nelson athletes competing at the event

CHECK THIS OUT: Read B.C.! A roundup of books about our fair province

The Nelson Library’s Anne DeGrace gives us a B.C. Day book list

Nelson Leafs trade goalie Hunter Young to Rockies

Nelson will have an all-new duo between the pipes next season

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Most Read