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New live music venue in Kelowna

Live music at Runaways

Kelowna has a new neighbourhood entertainment venue.

The former Mission Tap House in South Pandosy has rebranded as Runaways Lounge, and while it still offers its signature large variety of local craft beers on tap, it has added a new cocktail menu, expanded and improved its wine and food offerings and, most importantly, now has a focus on live music and comedy.

“When we bought the place (in February), we really felt the Mission/South Pandosy area needed an entertainment venue,” says co-owner Dan Bernier. “It didn’t have a cool place to go and hear live music.”

Bernier and his partner Dave Myers are both musicians and Bernier says they wanted to create a more upscale atmosphere, but one that still had a cool vibe.

“We call it ‘upscale casual,’” he says.

While live music has been featured at Runaways four nights a week for the last few months, the venue will hold its official grand opening Aug 19, combining both comedy and music.

The night will kick off with comedians Tim Nutt and Rob Balsdon providing stand-up comedy starting at 7 p.m., and then two bands, Chase the Bear and Goldsauce, will take turns on stage starting at 9 p.m. In addition, there will be food and drink specials.

The plan going forward is to keep featuring live music four nights a week and host comedians from the Train Wreck Comedy Tour twice a month. There will also be an open mic night for adults and, because the venue’s licence allows young people in with their parents up until 10 p.m., a Junior Jam night to let budding young musicians strut their stuff on stage too.

“That way we can help contribute to the next generation of local musicians,” says Bernier.

Because both Bernier and Myers knew they wanted Runaways to focus on live entertainment, particularly music, the first thing they did when they bought the place was take out the pool tables—which weren’t being used very much—and they built a new stage. They redecorated and repainted, updated the cocktail menu and expanded the wine list. They revamped the food menu, tapping into the creative minds of the kitchen staff. Plans are also in the works to build large new patio over the winter.

The former MissionTap House, which was well-known as the Pheasant and Quail Pub before that rebranding 10 years ago, was a popular spot that focused on Kelowna’s emerging craft beer market. Now, as Runaways Lounge, Bernier and Myers want to incorporate that popularity into their new vision to create a go-to spot for food, beverages and live music in the city.

“We still have a great selection more than 30 local craft beers on tap and for sports, we have plenty of big screens,” says Bernier.

But entertainment will be the driving force at Runaways going forward.

“Come in and try the food and beverage menu, check out our substantial entertainment lineup on Instagram and Facebook and join us for the grand opening weekend with our special guests,” says Bernier.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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