Penticton pub owner Martyn Lewis (left) holding the Travel Penticton tourism magazine with Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer (right). (Submitted photo)

Bar Rescue star gets taste of the South Okanagan thanks to local pub owner

Brexit pub owner tries to show off Penticton to TV show host Jon Taffer

The host of the popular TV show Bar Rescue is often walking into a nightmare, but for one Penticton bar owner getting a bit of one-on-one time with Jon Taffer was a dream.

“Yes, you wouldn’t want him coming to your bar because it means your bar is in the toilet,” said Martyn Lewis, who owns Brexit Pub and was in Taffer’s hometown of Las Vegas recently for a nightclub and bar conference and trade show. “However, in this situation it was in my plans to meet him.”

READ ALSO: Penticton pub owner wants to inject new life into downtown

Armed with a Travel Penticton’s Undiscovered tourism magazine and Taffer’s book in his backpack, Lewis began his mission to meet the TV host. Taffer, who is often called the Gordon Ramsay of the bar scene, helps struggling bar owners overcome health hazards, mediocre staffing and branding issues in order to become profitable.

Taffer was a keynote speaker at the conference and Lewis was positive he would bump into him somewhere. His chance came at a reception party they both happened to be at.

“He had these bodyguards with him all the time and he was basically off limits to anyone who wanted to high-five him or shake his hand. I had already had it planned how I would do it, and it was by chatting with his wife who he dotes on. I saw her off to the side and started up a conversation. She was thrown off guard not expecting anyone to know who she was, even though she has been on TV a number of times. Shortly after he came walking over,” said Lewis.

What was a once in a lifetime moment, turned into three. Lewis also met Taffer at his keynote and another time during the conference. Lewis said he joked with the couple about when they would come to Canada and received a few tips from him.

“I was just in awe because I was using his TV show to get all the information for my renovation when I was starting up. I was taking hints and tips he was talking about on his show so getting to meet him and chat with him was amazing. He is my hero, so it was definitely something,” said Lewis.

He also got his book autographed and had a chance to show off the Travel Penticton magazine he brought along with him, keeping it in his backpack so it was pristine.

“I showed him all the pages and he seemed pretty impressed with the place. They were really interested because of all the wine and beer things we have in the area. I just wanted them to see where we live and maybe they would come here one day on vacation,” said Lewis.

The Brexit Pub owner is now putting out the challenge to other Penticton residents to get their photos taken with the Travel Penticton magazine.

“Everyone bumps into a celebrity now and again, so take that brochure with you and lets keep this going,” he said, adding he is trying to come up with a hashtag for the challenge.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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