Mr. Harold Cross is so legendary that he has a restaurant named after him. If you’re a local, you’ll know the story. If not, we’re sharing it below:

There once was a man named Mr. Harold Cross, who retired to Richmond over 30 years ago with his beloved wife, Jeanne. Each and every day, they went for lunch at the Richmond Inn, and became good friends with the staff.  They enjoyed lunch there for decades, and after his wife passed on, Mr. Cross continued the tradition. Eventually the hotel became the Sheraton, and when management decided to put in a new restaurant, it needed a name. They wanted something that would impart a sense of community, as well as the loyalty of its customers. The name “Harold’s” was proposed, and it stuck. Nothing else would do. They sat down with Mr. Cross, asked permission to name it after him, and told him he’d never pay another bill in the restaurant again.

Artwork of Harold decorates the walls of the restaurant. | Photo: Tourism Richmond

And thus, Harold’s Kitchen & Bar was born.

Around noon each day, as well as Friday night for dinner, Harold made his way from Gilmore Gardens in his scooter to his namesake restaurant, Harold’s Bistro and Bar, located at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. He’d arrive impeccably dressed in a suit and tie, ready to take his seat at his usual table. He did this every day for over 30 years.

The staff at the hotel and restaurant always made a point of celebrating his birthday every year with a large cake, shared with guests and staff. There were even menu items named in honour of Harold—the Harold’s Burger being a crowd favourite.

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Harold last week, when he passed away peacefully on May 15, 2020. He was 98.

Known for being a gentleman and well-loved by both hotel guests, regulars, and staff, Harold had an optimistic outlook on life, saying “I have always tried to look forward. I’m a great believer of positive thinking.”

“His absence will be felt deeply by our associates and guests and we will miss his friendly laugh and warm smile every day,” said Steve Veinot, General Manager at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. “His memory will live on in our restaurant name, his special table and commemorative plaque, the dishes named after him, and most of all, the stories from our associates.”

We’ll miss you, Harold.