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Kelowna pub Doc’s set to expand and change name

Doc’s is looking to increase its capacity to more than 300
Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub on May 19, 2020. (Contributed)

The iconic Doc Willoughby’s pub is moving on up in capacity, space and name.

The pub has been in operation in downtown Kelowna for almost 20 years, since opening in February 2002. Last year, the Nixon family took over the staple pub with a revamped decor and menu.

However, according to an application to the City of Kelowna, the Nixon’s struggled with the rebrand due to the pandemic and operational restrictions brought about by the Provincial Health Officer.

This led the Nixon’s to put a development proposal before the city that advocates for a new upstairs area, that will be multi-functional and provide live entertainment and film viewings. The current capacity is for 150 occupants plus a patio of 28, for a total of 178. The proposed increase capacity will be 305 inside plus a patio of 28 for a total of 333.

This would transition Doc’s from a medium establishment to a large establishment, of a capacity of more than 249. Hours of the liquor service for the establishment would stay the same, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m., however, the Nixon’s do not intend to open at 9 a.m. but instead at 11:30 a.m.

With this proposal, the Nixon’s are also considering changing the name of Doc’s, although that is still to be determined.

The Nixon’s also own and operate BNA, Public Liquor and Skinny Dukes.

“Their creativity has been embraced at BNA, and it is anticipated that will also be embraced at Doc’s. The community and visitors to it are looking for fresh new concepts in terms of entertainment, rather than an establishment that purely focuses on alcohol sales,” states an application before the city.

Renovations are currently underway at Doc’s located at 353 Bernard Avenue.

READ MORE: Downtown Kelowna staple, Doc Willoughby’s, sold

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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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