Dale Boyd, The Elite open mic night host, entertaining the crowd on the final night before the oldest restaurant in Penticton closed. Brennan Phillips/Western News Dale Boyd, The Elite open mic night host, entertaining the crowd on the final night before the oldest restaurant in Penticton closed. Brennan Phillips/Western News

Video: Historic South Okanagan restaurant closes

Bittersweet ending for open mic night patrons and musicians in Penticton

It was a bittersweet ending for Penticton’s oldest restaurant, The Elite, on Friday night.

While the place was jam-packed for the open mic night, it was the final one that will fill the 70s-decor restaurant.

Related: Walking through Penticton’s past

“It’s kind of had it’s ups and downs, but over the last year, we’ve got a really good collective is the word we have been choosing to use of Penticton musicians and there are a lot of great local musicians,” said Dale Boyd, who has been hosting the open mic night on Friday’s over the last year.

The Elite is closing, details of the sale are not currently available, but all is not lost for those who want to come out and jam. A donation jar was set up on The Elite’s final night and Boyd plans on purchasing some of the equipment used on stage at The Elite.

“We are going to call it the Penticton Elite … it’s going to move forward. We are going to keep this momentum going. There is plenty of areas around downtown and other areas in Penticton. We are going to give it shot and rotate the stage, wherever that may be and keep the music going, keep the dream alive.”

Boyd, and many of the artists up on the stage on the final night, couldn’t say enough about the people who supported The Elite and the live music that could be found on their stage weekly.

The Elite Restaurant in Penticton is now closed permanently after hosting their final open mic night on Nov. 10. Brennan Phillips/Western News Staff

“It’s tough to get people out every week and we had to deal with that but again a really good music community in Penticton so it made it easy. The calibre of talent that we started with and having played together for a year, has just been awesome. we just all got better. My personal final thought is, I was nervous enough to come out the first few times and general manager Kirk Watson was like ‘hey do you want to host one time?’ That has been the whole attitude. ‘Hey, do you want play?’ ‘Do you want to play drums?’ So that is the spirit we are going to try to keep going,” said Boyd.

Related: Christmas heroes volunteer time, energy to feed community

Not only a place to go to listen to live music on the weekends, The Elite has been a staple in the downtown core since the 1930s. The various owners have also been a strong community partner, offering dinners to those in need during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

— With files from Brennan Phillips/Western News

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

Kristi Patton | Editor

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