Penticton’s iconic fruit once had a sibling that served ice cream in a nightclub | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton’s iconic fruit once had a sibling that served ice cream in a nightclub

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November 14, 2020 - 12:05 PM

Penticton's iconic Peach has been a part of the city's history since the early 1960s and while many residents and visitors will remember it's most famous story — of being rolled into Okanagan Lake after a concert, people may be less aware that it once had an equally adventurous sibling that served shooters in a local nightclub.

There were originally two peaches built for the City of Penticton back in the early 1960s. Made by Bob Gordon and George Kantz, it took roughly three weeks to build the identical peaches from fibreglass and wood. One operated as a concession stand at Skaha Beach and the other, the now better-known peach, was located beside Okanagan Beach.

In the 1990s, former nightclub owner Nikos Theodosakis bought the Skaha Lake peach from the City of Penticton when he found out it was going to be dismantled. He wanted to give his nightclub at the time, Captain Martini’s, a theatrical look.  Located at the corner of Westminster Avenue and Martin Street, Captain Martini’s is more recently known as the Blue Mule which closed in 2018.

Theodosakis said the peach was moved by flatbed truck down the highway to Captain Martini’s.

“We actually held off on building the roof so we could use a giant crane to lower the peach into its resting place in the nightclub,” he said. They restored the outer shell, gave it a fresh coat of paint and it was used to serve ice cream, shooters and other drinks.

“We designed it like a stage with the peach…. People had a lot of fun with that retro theme in the nightclub,” he said, adding that it fit the 1950s style of the club. “It was a crazy idea but it worked.”

A few years later the nightclub sold and the peach was cut into small slices and taken to the dump, he said.

“Sadly it wasn’t loved and respected the way we hoped it would be but that’s the way it goes,” Theodosakis said.

The Okanagan Lake peach also temporarily moved from its home in the 1990s. It was rolled into Okanagan Lake in 1991 during a riot after MC Hammer finished his set during PeachFest.

An image captured of the Penticton Peach in Okanagan Lake after the PeachFest MC Hammer concert in 1991.
An image captured of the Penticton Peach in Okanagan Lake after the PeachFest MC Hammer concert in 1991.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/The Peach

“It was rebuilt after that very strong so there’s no way that thing can be rolled now, it’s here to stay,” said The Peach owner Diana Stirling, who took over the concession stand in 2016.

Nowadays, under Stirling’s guidance, The Peach next to Okanagan Lake has developed an online persona, known for dressing up for the seasons and for its crazy ice cream creations.

“We wanted to match its personality and grow its personality from there,” she said. She’s cultivated an online audience and thousands of tourists and locals alike can be seen snapping photos with the ice cream stand.

“It just is awesome to see it lined up in the summer there. It used to be kind of quiet in the evening but now it’s live until 10:30 at night which is incredible,” she said. “I’ll watch customers spend 10-15 minutes taking photos with their treats before they start consuming it.”

Called Crazy Shakes, it takes nearly two people to consume the ice cream/dessert topping that goes into a shake. The shakes are served in a peach themed jar and come complete with full servings of cake or a brownie and whip cream on top.

The Peach also dresses up for every season, exciting residents who quickly snap photos and post about its transformation for each season and holiday. For Halloween, The Peach was dressed as a pumpkin, Easter it was a bunny and even dressed temporarily as a grape for April Fool’s Day, much to the concern of Penticton residents.

READ MORE: Penticton Peach transforms into pumpkin for Halloween

“It is completely Instafamous I would say,” Stirling laughed.

- This story was originally published Nov. 7.


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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