May 24, 2016 - 7:00 PM
KELOWNA - Pubs which are open later combined with a recent jump in competition is what killed Flashbacks, according to its owner.
Lonney Weber bought Flashbacks Nightclub in 2014 but this will be their last weekend unless a new owner can be found.
“I don’t want to do this anymore,” he says. “I’m almost 60. It’s hard to see it go but it’s time.”
Weber says there are several other reasons why he feels the time is right to exit the industry after almost three decades.
“It basically boils down to a financial decision,” he says. “It’s got a lot to do with the different competition and the different licencing strategies the government and city have gone with.”
Weber says while BNA opening next door has helped somewhat, more and more of his clients are looking at a night out differently than they used to.
“Before everybody used to get out of these restaurants and go to a nightclub,” he says. “Now with the new rules they have no reason to anymore.”
Weber says the city and the provincial liquor regulators have recently relaxed their requirements, allowing more pubs and restaurants to serve alcohol later.
“The playing field isn’t all that level,” he says. “More freedom to not sell food and sell liquor has caused a lot of these places to open up.”
He points to places like Canadian Brewpub on Pandosy Avenue, which is open past midnight, as well as Cactus Club on Banks Road and Water Street and Roses Pub.
Weber says those places are exempt from certain rules which create hassles for patrons but also increase safety.
“The nightclubs are required to have ID scanners. These scanners prevent the people you don’t want in from coming in,” he says. “The other places that also party all night, Cactus Club, BNA, don’t have to have them. They’re doing the same thing we‘re doing so they’re attracting people that don’t want to get scanned.”
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