The property that holds the Alder Inn, which was first named the “Aldergrove Hotel,” hosted another hotel that was closed due to a fire in the 1920s. Another blaze, one that happened this year, threatens to do the same. (Alder Grove Heritage Society photo)

Alder Inn and Schnitzelz face permanent closure

After a Sept. 20 fire, the damages have displaced tenants and Schnitzels family

A fire at Alder Inn in September has left the Langley Township with a costly decision to make regarding the building they acquired through a $5.4-million deal in June.

The inn – a nearly six-decade-old hotel, liquor store and bar that opened up at the downtown corner of 272nd Street and Fraser Highway in 1948 – has been uninhabitable since the blaze on Sept. 20.

An electrical fire sparked in one of the inn’s upper rooms where tenants stayed. It resulted in “significant” smoke, fire, and water damage to much of the building, said Township assistant fire chief Pat Walker, corroborated by Township manager of property services Scott Thompson.

“And after further inspection [the damage] created other issues related to deferred maintenance,” explained Thompson.

Both the tenants as well as workers of the family-owned downstairs restaurant Schnitzelz have been displaced. Only the inn’s ground-level beer and wine store remains open and in operation.

RELATED: Alder Inn goes up in smoke after ‘significant’ fire damage

Currently the Township is conducting a cost-benefit analysis “to see if the building can be repurposed and renovated,” Thompson elaborated, or whether such a cost would outweigh the inn’s hefty purchase.

“We won’t know the results until the end of March,” Thompson said.

It is around the same time that the lower-level liquor store will conclude the time agreed to in its current lease.

“It is a very old building,” Thompson added.

Schnitzels owner Sunil Vasdev and his family remain heartbroken after four years of building a regular customer base in Aldergrove – “the first year we opened we worked 12 hours a day,” he elaborated.

“Five of us lost our job in one day… my wife starts crying anytime we talk about the restaurant,” Vasdev said to the Aldergrove Star on Sunday.

Vasdev and his family went from managing their own business in September, to working lesser-paying jobs elsewhere in order to provide for their family.

The Vasdevs are hoping that the Township will decide to repair the damage caused by the fire and other maintenance issues in the restaurant.

The family continues to seek avenues for Schnitzelz to reopen and operate within the community again.

RELATED: Langley Township purchases Alder Inn and neighbouring lots for $5.4-million

The Sept. 20 fire that ultimately lead to the three-month closure of the Alder Inn and its businesses also threatens a precious piece of history, some Aldergrove residents maintain.

The Alder Inn was first constructed in 1948 as the “Aldergrove Hotel” after another fire destroyed the former Western Home Hotel on the same property sometime in the 1920s.

Prior to that the southeast corner boasted a bunkhouse for sawmills and logging camps, Alder Grove Heritage Society records show.

The Western Home Hotel was known among Fraser Valley residents as “the best hotel between New Westminster and Chilliwack.”

In those years it sold candy for a penny and had a big red barn for tenants’ horses.

READ MORE: Investigators release cause of Alder Inn fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Green Party announces candidate for Abbotsford South

Former provincial and municipal candidate Aird Flavelle seeks election

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Aldergrove farm invites artists for life drawing sessions

Art in the Country happens this Saturday, Oct. 3, at 26864 16th Ave

Langley East Liberal candidate denies NDP accusation of homophobia over crosswalk vote

Margaret Kunst said she has worked with LGBTQ youth with her PuCKS charity

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Another death as COVID-19 outbreak at Delta Hospital climbs to 18 cases

Total of 12 patients and six staff in one unit have tested positive for COVID-19: Fraser Health

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read