Historic buildings in downtown Kelowna could become massive new wine centre
A wine education and sampling centre with room for 625 people is being proposed for the former Keg restaurant location in downtown Kelowna.
Iconic Wine is the name on the drawings of the renovated buildings that will go to Kelowna City Council on Monday, May 25. Iconic Wineries is a name associated with Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits that owns, among others, Mission Hill Family Winery and Cedar Creek Estate Winery. No one was able to confirm a connection with this project by publication time.
The rezoning application covers two historic buildings on the corner of Water Street and Lawrence Avenue in downtown Kelowna.
It calls for a 60-person wine bar, 150-person lounge, 60-person roof top deck, a 300-person interpretive centre and tasting room, a 30-person education centre and lab and a wine shop with a 25-person capacity for a total of 625 people.
The application covers 1570 and 1580 Water Street.
The building at 1570 Water Street was built to house the Kelowna Courier in a one-storey structure in 1908. It was expanded in 1928 and the Courier relocated to its existing Doyle Avenue location in 1957. Most recently, it was occupied by the Keg restaurant.
The other building was constructed in 1910 as a Chinese restaurant and has continued as a restaurant of some sort ever since. It was once part of the Keg and was most recently La Lupita restaurant, according to a report going to city council.
The project exceeds the 500-person capacity allowed under a city policy adopted some years ago to limit the number of bars and nightclubs downtown.
That policy also calls for a 250-metre separation between what are termed “large establishments.” There are four such operations within 250 metres of this proposal.
“It is important to note that these policies were intended primarily for nightclubs and bars where late night alcohol consumption is the main focus of the venue,” states the report to council. “In connection with this, Council Policy No. 359 also advises that the City support ‘alternative entertainment options,’ and/or establishments which are less focused on alcohol consumption... In this case, the proposed development has a unique mix of features, including a prominent educational component, and though alcohol will be consumed, this is not the focus of the venue.”
City staff are recommending the application be sent to a public hearing.
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