It’s grandma’s house sans “the smell.”
It’s Eric Forman’s basement sans a foot in the rear end.
It’s Skinny Duke’s Glorious Emporium and it’s everything ’70s (plus a little ’60s and ’80s) that you could ever want.
“It’s mostly ’70s in decor,” said Jill Jarrett of BNA Brewing Co., “but we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves into that. We might play a song or two from ’65 or ’82.”
Downtown Kelowna’s newest restaurant strikes more as the Dazed and Confused house party that never was than a brand new watering hole but that’s just the homey environment that the masterminds at BNA Brewing Co. were going for.
“Downstairs is more of a lounge area. We’re calling it grandma’s basement. We’ve got the bar down here and couches, and there’s wood panelling on the walls. It feels like you might really be in somebody’s basement,” Jarrett said.
Jarett describes the upstairs as the dining room and kitchen area of the house.
Skinny Duke’s is now open to the public in the building of the old Sturgeon Hall Pub and Bordello’s Italian Pizzaria. It’s a building with a lot of history and “a lot to live up to,” Jarrett said.
“We kind of had a bit of an idea for something like this ruminating for a while but we didn’t have any real plans to pull the trigger. Earlier this year when Bernie (Wilson) and Louis (Drummond) of Sturgeon Hall approached us about the sale of it—they were ready to pass the torch, so to speak—we were just so honoured. Sturgeon Hall was such an amazing institution in Kelowna, so having a chance to do something with that space is something we didn’t want to pass up on.”
The cuisine is “hard to describe” according to Jarrett, a blend of Asian-cuisine with classical French techniques as well as gourmet pizzas from the pizza oven that still resides in the building from its time as Bordello’s. The menu also features some tribute items to the former owners of the building.
“It’s eclectic,” Jarrett said.
“We have seven different pizzas. We also have a ton of vegan and plant-based options, which is very important to us; we didn’t want them to be afterthoughts. They’re just a delicious dish and they also happen to be vegan.”
Skinny Duke’s has also put out some Spotify playlists full of retro jams that you can expect to hear as you sink into the chesterfield watching the old tube televisions playing nostalgic sports highlights, commercials and sitcoms.
Skinny Duke’s is located at 1481 Water Street and opens at 2 p.m. every day for the happy hour they’ve dubbed Afternoon Delight which takes place downstairs. The whole building opens for dinner at 5 p.m.