Alberni Street was named after Lieutenant Colonel Pedro de Alberni, most recognized for his military role in the Spanish exploration and colonization of the Pacific Northwest in the 1790s. In 1895, while Alberni Street was mostly undeveloped forested lots, a collection of small shops and restaurants began to develop one block south on Robson Street, due to the train tracks that were laid down.
After World War II there was a substantial German immigration into Vancouver and Robson Street evolved into “Robsonstrasse”, the hub of German culture and commerce in Vancouver filled with delicious delicatessens, patisseries and other specialty shops. And while the German presence has largely disappeared on Robson Street, the retail in the surrounding area is still thriving, especially in the Alberni/Burrard areas.
Alberni Street, which was once just a little dirt road and some trees, now contains the most upscale retail in Vancouver with prominent anchors such as Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Coach, De Beers, Escada, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, The Urban Tea Merchant, and the Shangri-La Hotel. At night, Alberni Street comes alive with stylish restaurants such Coast and Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, and the charming late night chocolaterie patisserie café, Thierry. Alberni Street is continuously evolving but always towards a focus of elegance and sophistication, whether that is delicate macaroons, diamonds, or clothing.