Leopold’s Tavern moving into Kelowna in old Fernando’s location

Josh Duncan | October 27, 2021 in Kelowna

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The news that Fernando’s Pub was closing was difficult for a lot of Kelowna residents to take.

A staple in downtown Kelowna for a decade, the iconic pub shut its doors for good on Sept. 30 and left a gaping hole in the city’s nightlife.

While it’s virtually impossible to replace a special spot like Fernando’s, there’s plenty of reason to be excited about who will be taking over that space on Bernard Avenue.

Leopold’s Tavern, a popular Western Canadian pub chain with roots in Saskatchewan, announced on Tuesday that it will be opening its first Kelowna location in that space early next year.

“We’re honoured to be in one of the most storied spots in the Okanagan, Fernando’s, and plan to keep the good times rolling,” said a post from Leo’s.

Leopold’s Tavern has great food, plenty of drink options and a bit of a dive bar atmosphere that isn’t dissimilar to the one you found at Fernando’s over the past decade.

While each location is unique, the decor is typically all over the place and quite homey, with the walls and even ceilings usually covered in various types of hip art pieces.

The pub is well-known for its delicious poutine that comes in very large servings, and there is even a new poutine of the week unveiled every Monday.

And if the standard big servings aren't enough, it's also home of the famous Punchbowl Poutine, which is four pounds of fries, one pound of cheese and a litre of gravy.

Of course, you aren’t just limited to poutine, as the menu features creative burgers, wings, tacos, an all-day breakfast plate and plenty more.

You can also expect great happy hour deals and daily specials like Wing Wednesday, Taco and Tequila Tuesday and even Bucket Monday, where you can get a bucket of various appetizers for just $7.50.

Expect plenty of craft beers on tap, exciting cocktails and even Leo's own house-made fizz, which is a vodka-based seltzer made with real fruit and no artificial colours or flavours.

The original Leopold’s Tavern was opened by a group of friends “with nothing to lose” in 2013.

It was a beat down building near Leopold Crescent in the midst of downtown Regina, and while there was little fanfare to start, that would quickly change.

What they created was clearly something that people took a strong liking to and the Leopold’s Tavern empire started to spread across Western Canada.

There are now eight locations in Saskatchewan, three in Manitoba, four in Alberta and one in Victoria, as Kelowna will be just the second Leopold’s Tavern to open in British Columbia.

While there is no set date yet, Leo’s will be on Bernard Avenue in early 2022 and will surely become a fixture of Kelowna’s nightlife in no time.

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