Who ran the cafe? The answers are served up

There was quite a response from many oldtimers about Bill Hare's photograph of a cafe that was surrounded by water in the 1936 Mayo flood. It looks like George Nagano ran the place, which was called GN Cafe.

There was quite a response from many oldtimers about Bill Hare’s photograph of a cafe that was surrounded by water in the 1936 Mayo flood.

It looks like George Nagano ran the place, which was called GN Cafe.

One letter mentioned that it was a Chinese cafe, but I believe George Nagano was a Canadian of Japanese descent.

Many people responded to my column, which asked “Who ran the cafe?”

Many thanks to the people submitting their information, etc. They include, Harry J. Miller and his mother Vera Breaden, Harvey Burian, Angus McIntyre and Rick and Diana Griffiths.

Their emails follow:

I’m a born Yukoner (1947) and presently a Vancouver Island resident.

My mother, Vera Breaden (whose father was James Breaden), was raised in Mayo and was there in 1936 during the flood. She is 87 years young now. She says the cafe was a Chinese cafe operated by George Nagano and was called the GN Cafe.

Harry J. Miller

PS: Whoops! I was able to get a copy of the photo to my mother Vera Breaden and she has corrected the cafe mystery. She was going on what I said over the phone to her and now that she has seen the copy of the photo she says Ed, Carl and Dick Kinbel came to Mayo in the late ‘20s to run the sawmill in Mayo.

Carl married a widow, Wlodga Kondrowski, and Ed married a widow, Lou Hartnell, who operated a restaurant in Mayo in the ‘30s.

Wlodga and Lou decided to stay in the restaurant business and bought the building at Centre Street and Second Avenue. They operated the cafe until the flood of 1936. The small building next to the cafe was a barber shop.

Harry J. Miller

I am pretty sure this is a photo of the 1936 flood that occurred in Mayo.

I knew Bill Hare and he took a number of photos of that period in Mayo.

The person who could certainly verify the date is Gordon McIntyre, who Jim knows and could probably talk to.

I don’t know the name of the cafe (if it was one), but the photo appears to have been taken from the roof of the Chateau Mayo Hotel looking northwest.

Another person who might know is Marjorie Profeit (currently at Closeleigh Manor) who grew up in Mayo and would likely remember that building.

Her father ran a cafe almost across the street from that building in the Chateau Mayo Hotel called the GN Cafe. (GN is George Nagano)

Harvey Burian

(formerly of Mayo)

Parksville, BC

Anyone with information about this subject, please write Jim Robb: The Colourful Five Per Cent Scrapbook – Can You Identify? c/o the Yukon News, 211 Wood Street, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2E4, or e-mail through the News website, www.yukon-news.com.

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