Kelowna's BNA re-opens, owner says they have a 'fighting chance' - InfoNews

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Kelowna's BNA re-opens, owner says they have a 'fighting chance'

BNA Brew pub and restaurant is applying to increase its liquor license.
May 27, 2020 - 6:00 PM

If you’ve been wondering what it’s been like to be a restaurant owner in the time of COVID-19,  ask Kelowna’s Kyle Nixon — he paints an interesting picture.

“It’s like you’re being told to run for your life but your legs have been cut off,” the owner of BNA and Skinny Dukes said.

He’s opening his doors tonight, and with weeks to digest what conditions will be like going forward, he’s feeling a bit more empowered.

“Now we have a fighting chance, we can give it everything we can and hopefully it will work,” he said.

Nixon announced the re-opening of the popular Kelowna eatery and bowling alley that was closed along with all restaurants and pubs across B.C. by public health orders.

“If you feel safe and can follow Dr. Henry's guidelines, we'd love to have you. Reservations can be made via,” he wrote on the pub’s Facebook page.

Nixon already opened his pub, Skinny Dukes, and the BNA tasting room last week, but BNA is the biggest of his businesses, and he thinks that it will be able exactly what people are looking for.

“For what our occupancy is at BNA, table-wise, we never crammed it in,” he said, adding that it has half the capacity it did before COVID-19.

“We wanted to create a space where someone could walk up and talk without making the table next door uncomfortable.”

That said, service will be different and various inner workings will be altered.

It has taken some work to get there, and Nixon said “it wasn’t a blessing” but it has been a learning experience.

“Luckily my team has been awesome and survived,” he said. “I”m optimistic about what we can offer, but it’s something I hope we never go through again.”

That said, it’s not like it’s over and Nixon realizes that. While some have projected end days for many restaurateurs caused by the restrictions on capacity and the request for tourists from beyond B.C. to stay in their province in the industry, Nixon is feeling optimistic.

“I am a huge fan of this industry,” he said. “What you are seeing is that local means a lot more in these times than even when things are going great. But it’s a learning curve. It makes us run differently but maybe we will slow things down a bit and get better. Maybe it’s an opportunity.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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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