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Revelry warming up a new music venue for downtown Kelowna

This is a rendering of the new Revelry Food and Music Hub on Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna.
This is a rendering of the new Revelry Food and Music Hub on Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna.
Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

A major new musical entertainment centre is preparing to open in downtown Kelowna.

Revelry Food and Music Hub is currently under construction at 1383 Ellis St. and is asking for Kelowna city council to support its liquor licence application to the province.

“The applicant, Lee Simon of Revelry Events Kelowna Ltd., is planning to open a new food, beverage and entertainment business within Kelowna’s Downtown Cultural District,” a letter accompanying the application says. “The proposed business model offers a privately funded solution to address the arts and cultural facilities shortfall that has been widely recognized throughout Kelowna.”

While the liquor licence application is for 685 people, the letter says on event nights there will room for a maximum of 600 people spread over Revelry’s two floors in addition to 75 staff and artists.

The original plans, when sent to the city in the summer of 2020, envisioned three floors with room for up to 1,000 but that has been scaled back and there are only two floors in the current plan.

READ MORE: Revelry planning to fill a huge gap in Kelowna music venue options

The company stresses it's not a nightclub.

“The applicant’s business model was developed to provide new revenue opportunities for artists and unique engagement opportunities for patrons,” the letter says. "The business concept itself introduces multiple new revenue streams, essential for stability at a critical time when the hospitality and live music sectors are facing challenges unlike any they have seen in the past.”

There will be three food service counters offering healthy options. Those can open at 7 a.m. but no liquor will be served before 9 a.m.

Closing times will be midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays. In addition, shows will end at least half an hour before closing time so there’s no “flush” of patrons out onto the street as there can be downtown with the 2 a.m. “bar flush” as bars and nightclubs close.

“The applicant is intentionally avoiding anything that might target the late-night crowd focused on drinking as the a primary activity,” the letter says .”In contrast, within the proposed business, food and music are the focus.”

The liquor options will be limited to a few beer, wine and spirit options.

“The fast casual menu is centred on main meal selections of handheld pies (comparable in portion to a burrito or large wrap) and baked bowls, complemented by sandwiches, wraps, salads, sides and desserts,” the letter says, adding there will be healthful options and local ingredients will be used when possible.

“The primary business model targets GenX and Millennial patrons, with all others welcome,” the letter says. “A hypothetical customer wishes to enjoy a fun evening on the town – perhaps have a glass of wine or two with food – and then return home well before midnight to relieve the babysitter.”

In many ways, it will operate similar to a hotel ballroom where events can be staged in the second floor "function room" that will turn into a music hall at night.

“The main stage will feature local, national and international artists, similar to the Kelowna Community Theatre,” the letter says.

The application is scheduled to go to city council’s Sept. 20 meeting. City staff recommend it be supported.

 — This story was updated at 10:35 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, to correct the date of the council meeting.

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