The brunch scene Victoria is famous for will soon look a lot less pink.
Floyd’s Diner at 866 Yates St. is shutting its doors on Jan. 1, 2019 after 15 years in business.
“We couldn’t get a decent lease,” said owner Petr Prusa. “The biggest part of it is we’ve wanted to put money into it, and committed $150,000 on renovations, but only if we could get a long-term lease again.”
The landlord offered a five-year lease but added a demolition clause that could evict Floyd’s with three-months’ notice.
“Plus all rents have gone up in town; our rent at Yates is around $12,000 a month,” Prusa said. “You gotta sell a lot of eggs for that.”
The famous retro diner features dishes like “The Mahoney,” where patrons can risk a double-or-nothing bill on a coin toss, and a fully array of eggs Benedict’s, hashes, and omelettes.
Floyd’s began with the Cup of Joe Cafe in James Bay in 1997, then to a 10-seat cafe called Flying Floyd’s on Esquimalt Road.
The namesake and original logo – a flying super pig with a cape and a cup of coffee – was inspired by a cafe in Amsterdam called The Flying Pig, which had a pig named Floyd.
Prusa originally spotted the Yates Street location when it was a different, struggling restaurant. After several conversations, he was able to convince the other owner to sell to him. Floyd’s Diner opened in 2004.
“We were hoping to open it quietly because we had a lot of work to do in that place, but we literally opened the doors and there was a lineup,” Prusa said. “I think our first day cost us $3,000 in promo’s because people were waiting an hour-and-a-half because all the toasters were blowing breakers and the equipment didn’t work. But, they kept coming back.”
Since then, Prusa rolled with the inspiration from rock stars and idols the name “Floyd” could bring and even painted the building in homage to Pink Floyd.
The unique restaurant has drawn in loyal patrons and staff ever since, until a sign went up last week, and staff were told they had to be let go.
“The biggest shame is that the staff is like family,” Prusa said, adding that some have been there the whole time. “It pains me that we have to shut the doors down. It hurts my soul.”
Prusa said the two other Floyd’s locations in Langford and James Bay are considerably smaller, but could hopefully absorb some of the staff.
While shutting down the famous location is sad, it doesn’t mark the end for Floyd’s. A new location is under negotiation, with a possibility of opening a block away as soon as February.
If that plan falls through, Prusa has another location in mind that could open as soon as April.
“It’s the end of an era there, that’s where everything started,” Prusa said. “But look for us in another location in the new year. Thank you to Victoria for all of their patronage for all these years.”
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