Start talking about White Rock history and it won’t be long before Uli Blume’s name comes up. You just can’t talk about that picturesque stretch of waterfront without mentioning his iconic restaurant. A fixture on the beach for nearly a quarter of a century, Uli’s Restaurant opened in 1986 and was an immediate hit. It’s a rare long-time White Rock local who doesn’t have some kind of story to tell about Uli’s. Maybe they were one of the people who told him way back in the beginning that, “your kind of food will never work here”. Or one of the original restaurant’s many overbooked customers who were invited upstairs to enjoy a glass of wine in the unofficial “waiting lounge” (aka Uli Blume’s apartment) above the restaurant. Maybe they brought in one of their kindergarten paintings to the restaurant as a child and it’s still on the wall. Were they dancing on the table beside Uli the night he was arrested? Or walking past the current building in 1998 when the space for the front windows was being cut out with a chainsaw?
Whatever the anecdote, one element that always shines through is Uli’s magnetic personality. Warm, vibrant, witty, adventurous, and always ready for a good time, Uli was the catalyst that took a comfortable place to sit down to enjoy a good meal and transformed it into an integral fixture of the White Rock waterfront. What was White Rock like before Uli’s Restaurant? Many people may not remember. But one thing’s for sure… it hasn’t been the same since.