New nightlife spot in town?

A gap left in the late-night scene in Penticton could soon be filled by recently-opened pub Brexit, which is seeking a liquor primary license from the city.

The license would allow for later hours. The change, which has yet to be discussed and approved by council, would see the establishment have food primary hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., then liquor primary through to 3 a.m.

"I was hoping to complement what we had with the Mule and the Barking Parrot," said owner Martyn Lewis. 

Brexit, if their license is approved, will be offering its own style of entertainment, looking at live bands, and more DJ music targeted to the clientele. Plus, of course, a dance floor. 

"There's a gap in the market in Penticton for entertainment, there alway has been, even with the Mule. But now with the Mule gone, I think we're getting into a really worrying phase in Penticton, in particular for the younger people, for the under-30s," Lewis said.

"We've literally abandoned them. It's not that I want to do late-night entertainment, it's that we need late-night entertainment for this community to function."

Lewis said there's a disturbing trend of the city losing young people, and puts part of the blame on the city's lack of late night entertainment options. He's been having trouble keeping hold of staff in entry-level jobs at the pub. 

"One of the reasons I'm changing to liquor primary is that I can't hire kitchen staff, I've realized quite quickly that we have not got any young people who want their first jobs, they seem to have disappeared," he said.

Lewis added that the Nanaimo Avenue pub's target demographic would stay the same, though he hopes later hours would appeal to some young crowds as well.

"My target market is still always 35 to 55, so any younger people who want to come to a more sophisticated environment, they're definitely welcome."

The license application will be discussed by council at its next meeting, Oct. 2.

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