RED BIRD BREWING
Welcome to Kelowna’s newest live music venue
Photo credit and copyrights to Shane Collins & Gonzo Okanagan
A good buddy of mine shot me a message early in the afternoon. He informed me that Red Bird, one of Kelowna’s beloved breweries, had finally opened its long awaited indoor kitchen and dining area. He told me he’d be there around 2:00pm. So, my partner and I hopped on our bikes and headed down to see what all the fuss was about.
Though still under the final phases of construction, patrons can now enjoy some delicious pizza, cooked fresh in their new kitchen and see live music set up with a beautiful stage and backdrop. Soft lighting and an abundance of ambient light filled the large room. Fresh beer is poured and served to the throng of music lovers that packed into the new space this afternoon.
Kentucky Eileen was in the house. I didn’t even recognize Dan Tait singing into his mic without that wild beard of his. It looked like the damn thing fell clear off his face. G.M Adam Semeniuk and Mitch Howanyk welcomed the crowd to the culmination of over 5 years in the making.
Through the pandemic. Through rising costs and the speculation of the buildings completion, finally, the day has come and with a packed house, glasses were raised, thanks were given and a warm welcome was indeed instated as Red Bird, like a rising phoenix, has risen up from the those ashes of uncertainty and now looks to potentially be one of the go-to spots for live music in this fair city.
The people of Kelowna have watched venue after venue sell or close or literally be torn down over the past few years. Questions of where bands can come to perform to a sizable crowd, well, look no farther, dear friends. Red Bird has landed and when this place is finished, you could be looking at a venue that could hold up to a thousand people.
Wires are still dangling along a few walls, awaiting their fixtures. Outside, the courtyard still needs some final touches but the meat and bones of the place are up and running and it’s potential feels colossal. The Richter and Gaston area has seen a surge in development. People used to go down along Bernard. Now they venture up past Clement and take in all the new restaurants and pubs and breweries. There’s even a new climbing gym, just down the road. It’s not far from the waterfront. Bike lanes criss cross the area. Spring time is here. The pandemic seems to be slowing down. Yes, today I saw a room packed with paying customers and i saw little kids sitting with smiling parents. This place is kid friendly, it’s in a great part of town and the sound system has been spared no expense.
Everything has been invested and built from the ground up and has prevailed through the pandemic. As the year unfolds, I intend to see as many shows as I can and I’ll share my experiences with all of you.
I know I’ll be back here a lot and who knows, maybe I can sit down with Adam and have a deeper conversation about what it means to him and to his crew now that the doors are open and the stage awaits the boots of all the musicians that are eager to play again.