Historic restaurant shuttered

The Elite Restaurant, which first opened its doors at its current location in 1936, has now closed due to a sale to new owners.

The iconic breakfast spot in the 300-block of Main Street boasts an unmissable neon sign, and has recently become a locally-beloved venue for intimate concerts and weekly open mic nights. 

Its sign is the only neon icon left after Penticton city council outlawed them in the 1970s, having received a special dispensation to remain as a Main Street landmark. 

It was also once visited by actress Elizabeth Taylor and actor Richard Burton.

Details of the transition to new ownership have not been finalized, so it is unclear at this point whether the sign and name will be retained in the transfer, though much of the furniture is expected to be sold off. 

As a sendoff for the music venue side of the Elite, open mic night regulars will be hosting a last hurrah Saturday night at the Elite, open to all to perform or just enjoy the music, starting at 8 p.m. The group hopes to find ways to continue the open mic tradition at other venues in town. Details on the event can be found here

Castanet will have more to come on the future of the Elite. 

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