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Local White Lunch Cafeteria and White Spot - Racist Beginnings?

Discussion in 'Food, Drinks and Dining' started by milquetoast, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. milquetoast

    milquetoast Senior Member

    So you might have heard that the White Lunch name referred to it's policy of serving and hiring only white people. Of course by the 1950s and 60s, the staff and clientele were multicultural. I couldn't find an exact date for when the chain was started, but some sources mention the 1910s.

    White Lunch Cafeteria Locations
    124 West Hastings
    865 Granville
    737 West Pender
    714 West Pender

    Artwork by Tom Carter


    I wonder if White Spot carried the same connotation when it was founded? Nat Bailey started the restaurant in 1928 when racial tensions were probably still quite high.
  2. sdes!

    sdes! Guest

    Short answer no. You are correct about the "White Lunch" in that they never hired non-white staff. I suppose to some back in the day that was a selling point. The term "White Spot" was a reference to the cleanliness of the restaurant and the colour of the original building in Marpole.

    Nat Bailey also was the first owner to bring black baseball players to the Vancouver Mounties back in the late 40's.
    cheeseshredder likes this.
  3. 6u-huo.l.uV

    6u-huo.l.uV Moderator Staff Member

    That's actually stated in the White Spot restaurant on Kingsway. Think they might have the same posters at others too
  4. milquetoast

    milquetoast Senior Member

    If that's the case, maybe it's just a nice PR story :p.
  5. 6u-huo.l.uV

    6u-huo.l.uV Moderator Staff Member

    That's what I was thinking before as well
  6. Donald Foran

    Donald Foran Junior Member

    My brother & I were carhops at the White Spot drive-in on Broadway/Larch the late '70's.
    Ma told us the name refered to the white spot in the egg yolk when you cracked it open,
    & Gram took us to Scott's Restaurant instead of "White Lunch" because they were not racist.
    milquetoast likes this.

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