So long CJs: New nightclub opening in former Kamloops location | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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So long CJs: New nightclub opening in former Kamloops location

CJ's Nightclub in downtown Kamloops is up for sale.
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Two Kamloops nightclub veterans are laying down the Cactus Jack's torch for good and opening a new club in its place.

In a whirlwind decision, Blue Grotto owners Pup Johnston and Sherri Lynn King decided to take over the lease for former country nightclub Cactus Jack's and will rebrand and rename their new 19+ venue as Nightshift on Fifth.

“Between us, we have years and years of our experience in the business,” Johnston said.

The new nightclub will tentatively open later this month and will host DJs and feature more diverse events and Top 40 hits, Johnston said. They're currently waiting on insurance approval before they can open.

Once more renovations are in place, they’ll also hold larger live music events than the Grotto can currently hold.

They initially were hesitant to take over the business due to its changeover in ownership in recent years. It has been closed for much of the pandemic. 

From horses tied to bus stops, mechanical bull riding competitions to various name changes, CJ’s nightclub had it all. Opening in 1986 by Roy Baron as Jack Daniels, it was the hottest spot in Kamloops.

READ MORE: Saying goodbye to a Kamloops institution as CJ's nightclub closes its doors

“What it is, is when you look at downtown Kamloops, it fills up downtown. All the bars, all the restaurants are all full and when they close at 10 p.m. there’s people wandering around with nothing to do,” Johnson said.

“It was built up to be so big and the nightclub industry was flagging for a while.”

The Blue Grotto has been busy since pandemic restrictions eased in February. They were offered the business a while ago but didn’t think about it seriously until recently, Johnson said. It won’t follow the Grotto’s no tank top policy or its 21 and older requirement.

“We’d have 100 to 150 people downtown line up to get in and we couldn’t accommodate them,” Johnson said. “Maybe this is the perfect time to revitalize that old building and we didn’t want to call it CJ’s… it needs to be new.”

“You want it to be successful, you want people to feel safe and recognized,” Johnson said, adding Pride and Latin events and those for university students are in the works.

They're currently hiring for all positions. Those interested can reach out via email.

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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