Kelowna nightclub transforming into a bar to open during COVID-19 - InfoNews

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Kelowna nightclub transforming into a bar to open during COVID-19

The OK Corral Cabaret won't have any dancing or its popular mechanical bull as it reopens.
July 10, 2020 - 6:00 PM

A country nightclub named after the location of a famous Wild West shootout has reopened its doors to the public, but patrons won’t find a popular mechanical bull to ride during the pandemic.

The OK Corral Cabaret will be celebrating its reopening with a soft launch tonight, July 10, with new social distancing measures in place.

The nightclub has become a bar in order to open during COVID-19 and managing partner Andy Bowie says there will be a 50 person limit during events. Regular nightclubs are not expected to open until phase four of B.C.'s reopening plan, which likely won't come until a vaccine is developed.

While COVID-19 cases reported in Calgary and Vancouver clubs is worrying, Bowie said additional measures are in place with security and volunteers to ensure patrons are following social distancing guidelines.

“I’m passionate about this place and we have a lot on the line,” he said.

Tables and benches now occupy the space that was once the dance floor.

READ MORE: Kelowna's only country bar and LGBTQ+ lounge face different post pandemic realities and challenges

New tape, signs, and glass between booths have been installed for the safety of customers and staff. There are six-person limits to tables, and patrons must stay in their seats. Masks and gloves will be available for purchase.

Bowie started off as a DJ for the cabaret before moving his way into management. He even sold his condo to invest into the business.

“It’s going to be a challenge but we’re fighters. We’ve definitely faced challenges in the past,” he said.

Previously Bowie said if the club had to wait until Phase 4 of the province's reopening plan, it could permanently close down.

Interior Health said as long as they are following regulations, they are free to open.

“Nightclubs are permitted to open, but if there is dancing or entertainment, it is considered an event and the facility is restricted to no more than 50 people under the Provincial Health Order. If they have a food services permit and are serving tables with beverages and food, they are permitted to have more people on the premises (groups of six or less standing or sitting together) providing their COVID plan allows it and they have the capacity for physical distancing,” according to Interior Health communications officer Susan Duncan.

The country bar is encouraging customers to reserve a table at least three hours in advance by emailing them and tickets for tonight’s show can be purchased through Kelowna Tickets.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry 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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