VERNON - You’ll still be able to buy a drink at the former night club on the corner of 30 Avenue and 30 Street downtown, but the similarities end there.
Stefan and Pearl Marten, the new owners of the prominent Main Street building, are brewing up a different approach, one that invites families, foodies and beer lovers to come by and check them out.
“It’s been night club after night club there,” Stefan says. “We don’t have the demographic for that here.”
Instead, the couple will be unveiling the Naked Pig BBQ and Smokehouse and a micro brewery. Renovations are underway to put brewing tanks where the dance floor used to be, and big, sliding doors along the 30 Avenue side of the building to create an “inside outside feel” blending the ambience of downtown Vernon with the eatery itself.
“The people we’ve talked to, our friends our neighbours, we felt this was definitely something we’ve heard over and over again, that this is what Vernon needs and what this area needs,” Stefan says.
The Okanagan may be wine country, but the Martens insist there’s room for a different local flavour.
“People are understanding there’s more than just your regular flavoured beer,” Stefan says. “It’s no longer just a mass produced lager. You can have pumpkin beer, raspberry beer, things as crazy as gummy bear beer.”
You may not find gummy bear beer at the Naked Pig, but you will find seasonal specials brewed with local ingredients that provide a taste of the Okanagan. And if you’re curious, you can even watch the brewing process.
“You can see how it’s made, watch the brewmaster working. It associates you with our product versus it coming from somewhere you’ve never seen,” Stefan says.
Their philosophy is local, hand crafted and community driven, says Pearl. As foodies and world travelers, they’ve dined around the world and infused those tastes and experiences into the Naked Pig and Marten Brewing, but they haven’t forgotten their home town.
“The vision behind everything is people making things with their hands, not store bought or mass produced, but craft and artisan style,” Pearl says. “We’re creating our own local, Okanagan flavour.”
The Martens are targeting a late May, or early June opening for the restaurant. Watch for updates on their Facebook page.
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