A gem hidden in plain sight – Flip Flops & Hops Eatery makes its mark in upper Glenmore.
There’s a funny meme that pops into my head sometimes – the image of a person running wildly from the office, pens and papers flying in her wake.
Like many, I will do almost anything to shake off a long, stressful day. One of my favourite ways is to call a friend, head to a nearby patio, soak up some sunshine, and enjoy good food and drink.
My go-to neighbourhood pub is Flip Flops & Hops Eatery. Locally owned, stocked with B.C. products, pure-food options, a patio, and is dog friendly – Flip Flops ticks all my boxes.
Sitting snuggly in the corner of Glenmore Shopping Centre on Kane Road makes it a convenient haven for anyone living in the Glenmore community in Kelowna.
I had a chance to sit down with owner Dave Brown and learn more this little gem.
@Gonzo: Tell me about your story and how Flip Flops & Hops came to be.
@Dave: I have been passionate about craft beer and the community for many years. In the mid nineties I was the brewmaster for Tree Brewing Company, after studying at Siebel Institute of Technology. The craft beer market was young and emerging, so it was an exciting time to be involved.
After seven years, I transitioned careers and got into telecommunications. While this was a great career, I always missed being involved in the local community. After 18 years, I had an opportunity to move on, which is how I ended up opening Flip Flips & Hops.
There was an eatery already in the building and, when it came up for sale, I saw there was great potential and need in the Glenmore market for a casual place for people to hang out and enjoy the best local drinks and food.
We took over the space on Feb. 1, 2020, changed the name to Flip Flops & Hops on Feb. 29, then had to promptly close due to COVID-19 in mid March.
We were able to open again on June 1, 2020 and have not looked back. We took advantage of our downtime to do some renovations and have a vision for future changes over time.
For now, we are enjoying the amazing customers and support during these COVID times. We take great pride at Flip Flops that you not only support us as a local business, but many, many other local businesses that we get our products from. You truly are supporting local when you visit.
@Gonzo: The drink products on the menu, how do you decide the selections?
@Dave: There are so many to choose from, it’s hard. We stick to B.C. for wine, beer, cider, and spirits. The beer changes weekly and we always try to have a great mix of sours, dark, IPA’s … all the great products the breweries have to offer.
We do try to mix it up as much as possible and love getting beer you can only get in draft and are harder to find. As for wine, in the spirit of keeping pricing reasonable, we do our best to find the best good-value wines in the valley. Thankfully, there are many to choose from so we mix up the wine, too. Our spirits are primarily Okanagan Spirits – they have an amazing selection.
We typically always have a lighter beer on special and a weekly food special. But in reality, our prices are very reasonable for the quality you get. Having a more casual, self-serve environment allows us to keep our prices competitive for the quality of food and drinks you get.
@Gonzo: The menu is awesome – everything I want in a casual dining experience. Tell me about the plant-based options.
@Dave: Our amazing chef, Scott Graham, is one of the blessings that came from COVID. After closing in 2020, we had to rehire almost everyone and we were fortunate enough to find him. Scott brings amazing talent that he has from his travels all over the world and a passion for being more plant-based.
While the menu is not all plant-based, there are amazing options for almost every menu item. We have many customers tell us that with Scott’s wonderful curations, they do not miss the meat. So, while great quality, house-smoked meat sourced from L&D Meats is not going off the menu, you will continue to see a great creative mix of plant-based options.
Meat and plant-based options include: Poblano BBQ chicken, house-smoked brisket, jackfruit, or housemade vegan sausage.
@Gonzo: What’s next for Flip Flops and your vision for the future?
@Dave: First step is getting past COVID! It is hard to imagine what things will look like once rules ease. For the most part, all we know now is COVID.
That being said, we look forward to allowing more guests to visit, getting back to being the local hang out, and bringing in local talent.
We would like to continue to be a great, unique offering in Glenmore for when people want to stay closer to home. We are the place where we know almost everyone by name and we would like that to continue.
Overall, I am just happy to be a part of the local community after living here for over 25 years and look forward to many more years to come.