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Soul of the Willow Inn will live on in new Kelowna pub

Image Credit: Postcard: Willow Inn, Kelowna, BC, 1960
August 11, 2016 - 4:30 PM

KELOWNA - It’s not going to have the brass stripper pole or the stage but a small part of the now-demolished Willow Inn will live on in the new Westcorp hotel.

The Edmonton-based development company that bought the old downtown hotel has kept alive the liquor license for the old tavern and is planning to use it for a new pub in the yet-to-be-built highrise hotel.

Plans are to change the old Willow Inn tavern closing time of 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. for the new pub to better suit the patrons they expect to attract, mainly from the hotel itself.

Planning staff and RCMP have no concerns with the location, which after all was a tavern for nearly 80 years before Westcorp demolished it in 2009.

“Staff anticipate the majority of customers will not require tax cabs or otherwise put pressure on downtown infrastructure when alcohol sales close,” planner Ryan Roycroft says in a report to Kelowna council.

“Having late night liquor service with the hotel will reduce the pressure on other downtown establishments from hotel guests.”

The 24-story Westcorp hotel — it has no name yet — is scheduled to begin construction this fall.

Council will consider the request at its regular council meeting Tuesday, August 23 at 6 p.m. in council chambers at Kelowna City Hall.

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