Coffee at Andrew's on Eighth [building from 1912]

Andrew's on Eighth, located at - as you may suspect :) - at the corner of St Andrews Ave and 8th Street in North Vancouver (maplink), is a super-cozy coffee and lunch place with some of the best breakfast croissants in Vancouver. Their Chai lattes are also pretty awesome.  The building has a fascinating history, see below!

(photo credits at the end)

Coffee shop interiorAndrews on 8th serves Moja coffee, various pastries, great sandwiches, wraps, and BLT filled bagels.  One of the interior walls has a fun display of large clocks, and a neat cabinet full of gift items such as tea towels and aprons for your Christmas present browsing.Adirondack chair

Andrew's-on-Eighth has expanded their outdoor patio, and on most weekend mornings you can witness the neighbourhood dogs bringing their families along for a meet & greet.logo on an outside coffee table

The patio has a great setup with many bright red Adirondack chairs.  

Across the street is a small triangular park where recently a few picnic tables were added; which are great on a nice day to enjoy your coffee in the fresh air. In the summer, we frequently find a trumpet player and other musicians practicing at the park, and the park also provides flat area for a pitch & putt or jeu-de-boules game.



Facade when it was still blue

The building on Andrew's and 8th was designed and built in 1912 by John Dierssen, a Prussian immigrant grocer and was long been known as "The Blue Building" due to its bright turquoise colour.  The John Dierssens (father and son) built this Edwardian style commercial block at a time when the corner of 8th and St Andrew's was little more than a clear cut with wooden sidewalks, dirt roads, horse drawn carriages and a few houses.  John Dierssen also built (and his wife Anna operated) the "Colonial Apartments', another heritage building in eclectic Craftman/Californian style from 1911, at 160 East 10th Street in North Vancouver. 

1980 black and white photo of the facade

1980 photo of the J.& J. Market in the 1912 John Dierssen building, now the Hodson Block – Andrew’s on 8th, at 277- 279 East 8th Street. Courtesy of MONOVA/ North Vancouver Archives, Inventory no. 5834

Even in the early days, the building had retail at the ground floor and residential on the upper floor.  From the poster: In 1918, John Dierssen sold the building to Mrs McCosh of Victoria who rented it to Grocer David Henderson, who sold it to grocer Keats who rented the retail space to butcher Wilson.  The combination of Wilsons Meats and Keates Groceries remained until 1946, and over the next 60 years the building would take various incarnations of grocery/butcher shops and owners.   It was still a corner store in the 1970s, but the building was eventually vacated and fell into disrepair.

history posterhigh contrast photo of the blue facade

The building's current owner Brad Hodson purchased the two-storey structure in December 2010. Formerly known as the Henderson Block after the second owner, the structure is now renamed as the "Hodson Block" in honour of the current owner.

Brad Hodson started the labour of love of heritage restoration in collaboration with the City of North Vancouver. The large windows were installed and the siding replaced, repaired and repainted from the original turquoise to heritage "Strathcona" red, hardwood floor refurbished, and entrance restored to the original. As you can see, a very successful restoration.  

If you are in a heritage mood, walk up 8th Street to St Andrew's Church from 1912 on the corner of St George's and 10th Street - read more here!

For more information, read Eva Lazarus' blog post, and the North Shore Heritage page

Photo credits: North Shore heritage page about the building and "The Evolution of the Corner Store - MONOVA";  Eza Lazarus: Blue building

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