By Odin's beard: Muninn's Post in Kelowna brings Norse culture to life - InfoNews

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By Odin's beard: Muninn's Post in Kelowna brings Norse culture to life

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Munnin's Post
May 11, 2019 - 7:30 AM

KELOWNA - Walk through the doors of Muninn's Post on Bernard Avenue and you'll step away from a Kelowna sidewalk and into Valhalla.

Helmets, swords and other Viking tools adorn the walls and shelves. Long wooden tables stretch down the room. The menus are filled with Norse-themed names like Asgardian Oasis and Thor's Strike.

On any given day you could enter Muninn's Post and see a Dungeon Master leading a group of wizards, orcs and warriors through a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, or a local metal band shredding onstage or friends simply gathered around a table. In the last five years, it's grown into a social hub.

Leagh and Siobhan Jennings-Bates, the owners of Muninn's Post, didn't feel there was a bar in Kelowna that felt like a home away from home. When they came into a bit of money, they decided to take a shot at owning a bar. They took over the lease for the property on 575 Bernard Ave. in October, 2014.

But what was the best way to make their bar stand out? Leagh said he and his wife were both engrossed in nerd culture and they saw a rise in the popularity of medieval media thanks to shows like Vikings and Game of Thrones.

"Seemed like a good theme to latch onto," he said.

Leagh, who studied Norse mythology in university, filled the bar with his personal collection of Norse memorabilia, adding more to the venue as people donated unique items. The name for bar comes from Norse mythology. Muninn is the raven of memory, responsible for flying around the world and reporting to Odin.

Leagh and Siobhan's main goal with the bar was to foster a sense of community. They often host board game nights and other social events, encouraging patrons to make memories in the moment.

"We want to get people off their phones," Leagh said.

Originally, they didn't plan to make Muninn's a musical venue, but Leagh, a fan of rock and metal, noticed there was a lack of spots in which metal bands could perform.

"The metal scene has struggled [in Kelowna]," he said.

Leagh and Siobhan decided to open the venue for musical performers, setting up a stage near the entrance of the bar. So far, it's been an overwhelming success. They've attracted bands from all over Canada and they're booked solid until October.

"We get bigger acts than we deserve," Leagh said. "People from Ontario are calling us to book spots."

Juno-nominated metal band Striker is one of those hot-ticket bands. The Edmonton-based group is playing in Muninn's Post on July 2 with Lost Nebula and local act ArkenFire. Tickets are $15 and you can get them here.

Leagh and Siobhan didn't expect their communal space to evolve into a hotbed for metal and rock music in the Okanagan, but they're glad to see Muninn's Post resonate with customers. They've cultivated a loyal base and Leagh credits their success to communicating with them.

"You serve what the people want," he said. "We're catered for regulars."


To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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