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Restaurant competition heats up in downtown Kelowna

The BNA Brew Co. is set to open soon on Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna.
May 14, 2015 - 7:32 PM

KELOWNA - So you wanna open a restaurant in Kelowna? Better bring your A-game because there’s a lot of competition.

BNA Brew Co. is just the latest on the scene with its 8,000 square feet location in a historic former warehouse next to Flashbacks nightclub on Ellis Street.

“We’re a restaurant that brews its own beer,” marketing manager for Nixon Hospitality Jill Jarrett says. “We are a full service restaurant that will feature four or our own beers plus a variety of other B.C. craft beers.”

The name stands for British North American Tobacco Company, the original owners of the red brick building, which used it when there was still a nascent tobacco industry in the valley.

Longtime locals would recognize the Nixon name from the Hotel Eldorado, once owned by Jim Nixon. Kyle Nixon, Jim’s son, and his wife Carolyn are the owners of BNA, indicative of the level of competition new restaurants face in Kelowna.

“This is Kyle's first big project on his own but we are definitely tapping into Jim’s knowledge and experience,” Jarrett says.

Perhaps it’s that confidence which prompts her to welcome the competition, the likes of The Curious, Salted Brick and the Pilgrim & Pearl, all of which have recently opened downtown.

“Some are new, some were existing, but it’s all good. It’s really just upping the game for the entire town,” Jarrett adds.

Even local nightclubs are getting in on the act. Rumour is Level and Cheetahs are both undergoing some type of renovations, while Flashbacks next door to BNA is reportedly ripping out its flooring and replacing it. Level and Cheetah did not respond to interview requests by deadline.

“I think the nightime scene in Kelowna is just coming into its own and everyone wants to be a part of it,” Jarrett adds.

Kelowna City Hall recently confirmed the number of new restaurant business licenses have climbed steadily in the last three years.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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