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IT'S OFFICIAL: Kelowna's iconic Doc Willoughby's is no more

Bernie's Supper Club and Cinema opened July 1 in the former Doc Willoughby's Pub.
Bernie's Supper Club and Cinema opened July 1 in the former Doc Willoughby's Pub.
Image Credit: Rob Munro

Kelowna’s former Doc Willoughby's Pub has been transformed into a supper club and cinema and its owner says it was packed for its grand opening on the Canada Day long weekend.

Bernie's Supper Club and Cinema opened July 1 under its new name, said co-owner Kyle Nixon, who also owns BNA Brewing Co. & Eatery and Skinny Duke's Glorious Emporium in the city’s downtown. The Nixon family took over ownership of the pub May 1 after its former owner Dave Willoughby decided it was time to sell it.

“It was kind of a good way to get people in to try the food and drinks,” Nixon said of the soft launch. The cinema will open in about a week’s time and tickets will be available for purchase through Bernie's website.

“It’s going to be a very boutique movie theatre in a sense, it’s going to be much different than other movie theatres around B.C.,” Nixon said. It will provide a full dining experience for customers to eat and drink while watching a movie.

“It's a little bit more of a night out experience than just the movies,” he said. The restaurant's regular menu has also been revamped.

They decided to rename it and rebrand Doc’s after the pandemic left few options for a later-night pub experience, Nixon said.

“Really what Doc’s had become was a late night spot where you go to have drinks and some fun but what we found when we took over the actual people coming in to eat… didn’t come as quick as we’d hoped,” he said. “To be honest, it was self-preservation.”

COVID-19 didn’t impact his other businesses in the same way as it did Doc’s, he said.

The restaurant was full Friday and Saturday night, he said and this week they plan to open up a patio on Bernard Avenue.

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