Central Bar + Kitchen in Kelowna is expanding to accommodate its growing customer base, and renovations could be complete by July 1.
Located at 1115 Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna, Central has been a local favourite for the better part of a decade, serving gourmet food and craft beer for a modest price. Tasked with operating a low capacity, co-owner Jared Lee felt it was time to expand.
“We’ve been looking at doing an expansion at Central for a couple of years,” said co-owner Jared Lee.
“We identified a need in year three to have a larger space. Throughout the wintertime, we were seeing an influx of customers and we’re generating great new regulars in the community. We were finding it very challenging to sort of scale to grow with a space that only services 48 people through the winter.”
After celebrating its sixth year in October, Central decided to expand to accommodate a capacity of about 100 people in the winter, while maintaining the intimate, homey vibe that locals have grown to love.
Central will be taking the shell of its seasonal patio and turning it into a full-size restaurant. The new space will have large-high ceilings and eight-foot windows that open all the way around to give an open-air vibe.
With the addition, Central’s guaranteed covered space will now accommodate 100 seats, rather than 48. There will also be a new outdoor seasonal patio that will accommodate another 48 seats. The seasonal patio will run to the sidewalk on Ellis Street.
In terms of the aesthetic for the expansion, Lee said Central wants to stay close to their roots.
“We’re taking a lot of the themes we initially built in our space and extending it,” said Lee.
“We’re elevating it a little bit, but it’s definitely West Coast contemporary to fit with that modern touch, so a lot of natural finishes and exposed wood look. There will also be more natural light with the bigger windows.”
Central Kitchen + Bar remains open for takeout during its renovations.