The Restaurant Association of Whistler (RAW) Hall of Fame recognizes members of our food and beverage community who have been pioneers, trailblazers and innovators within our beloved restaurant industry. We are delighted to honour Lawrence Black as our second inductee into the RAW Hall of Fame.
Lawrence came to Vancouver in 1984 with the objective of opening a restaurant with a buddy of his (no, not Wayne Katz, nor Miki Homma).
Like most hard-core skiers, on December 4th, 1984 a 50cm day in Whistler enticed the young Mr. Black and his friend to make their way up to Whistler. After a spectacular day of skiing on Whistler Mountain, Lawrence skied out into the village and there in front of his eyes, like a beacon for those lost at sea, was a concrete slab with a lease sign on it. Love at first sight, the deal was sealed shortly after walking into Betty Jarvis’ Real Estate office.
The “Original Restaurante” was born and the plan, as most plans go in Whistler, was to run this restaurant for two years and then head back to Vancouver. Well, some things just don’t go according to plan.
When “The Original Restaurante” was opened on December 15th, 1985 all 2,300 Whistlerites came by to wish the young gentlemen success. It was this gesture that had a profound impact on Lawrence and he knew then Whistler was special.
Over the course of 32 years, Lawrence bought out his partners, purchased the space (1995), made Whistler home, changed the name to “Black’s Restaurant and Pub”, and has always remembered the gesture from the locals. He has and continues to give back to the community of Whistler in so many ways; whether gift certificates for fund raisers, sitting on boards such as Crime Stoppers, sponsoring local baseball and hockey teams or helping his employees with their career objectives, his contribution to this community is immeasurable.
Congratulations Lawrence, we could not have selected a more worthy individual as our second inductee into the Restaurant Hall of Fame.