The new owner of the Rod and Gun says he has big plans for the iconic Parksville bar and grill.
Jeremi Burrows said he wants the Gun’s new look — renovations start Monday with a re-launch set for 5 p.m. Friday, June 21 — to respect the history of the business, which first opened in 1898. Burrows, 38, once worked as a management consultant for the owners of six pubs on the Island, including the Rod and Gun.
“This was the jewel of all the pubs,” said Burrows, who also owns the Bleue Coyote Bar and Grill in Brentwood Bay (yes, Bleue is spelled correctly).
Burrows was asked why he bought the Rod and Gun.
“I was familiar with the place, the reputation and the potential,” Burrows said Tuesday in an interview at The Gun. “I like the building and the history behind it and I like Parksville.”
Burrows lives in North Saanich with his wife Rebecca and their three children.
“Rebecca will be involved in this place as well,” he said. “It’s a mom and pop operation again.”
Burrows isn’t moving to Parksville but he has a new general manager to take care of day-to-day operations, Dan Brodeur.
It seems they both will be busy in the next few weeks. Burrows said The Gun is going to get new floors, new furniture, new lighting, new bathrooms and even a new menu.
“We’re not trying to get away from the whole pub-style menu, just fresher and lighter items, seafood for sure — more female friendly,” he said. “We’re not going to re-create the wheel. The changes are subtle. We are still going to be serving wings and cold beer and have live music. But I think you are going to see a lot more attention to detail, a lot more hands-on ownership and management.”
The Gun is unique in many ways, not the least of which is its liquor licence, which allows it to sell liquor and play music later than any other establishment in Parksville Qualicum Beach. Many weekend nights, the bar is filled with 20-somethings enjoying deejays or rappers.
“We want to open it up to all demographics,” said Burrows.
“We don’t want to rely on being the only place in town (with that certain type of liquor licence) anymore,” said Brodeur, a 34-year old who worked at The Gun from 2004-2012. “And we want quality entertainment, A-grade bands — we don’t want garage bands anymore.”
Burrows said he wants to increase the number of local sports teams The Gun sponsors, and he also said the bar is accepting resumes for all positions, from security to kitchen staff to servers.