Two businesses on the ground floor at the newly constructed The Station condo complex at 280 Tranquille Rd. expect to be open next month.
Bright Eye Brewing will be the first brewpub to open on the North Shore and the United Way will be relocating its offices from downtown to North Kamloops in September.
Richard Marken and fellow Bright Eye Brewing co-owner Mitchell Forgie expect to open in the middle of September. Forging new ground on the North Shore was one reason they decided to set up shop on Tranquille Road, Marken said, noting the area has what he described as a cultural feel akin to Commercial Drive in Vancouver.
“We think it just fits our vibe better. Customers can walk or ride their bikes to the brewery rather than drive, it has a more neighbourhood feel and all those things are super appealing to us,” Marken said.
The United Way chose to relocate its offices to have a presence in North Kamloops and be closer to many of the other non-profits they work with, according to executive director Danalee Baker.
The agency has taken on the entire lease of its half of the first and second floors and is subleasing office spaces to consulting groups, a non-profit and Thompson Rivers University’s research department, which will focus on community-based research at its satellite office.
“For us, it’s a new business model to try and bring in some sustainable dollars that is not fundraising,” Baker said, noting the organization expects to move in on Sept. 1, with an open house set for Sept. 12.
Part of the subleased space is called the Xchange, where the lessees will work together to try to solve community issues.
“We’ll all be working towards the same goal,” Baker said, adding there will be many, many workshops and events, one of the first of which will be a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis in Kamloops.
Over at Bright Eye, brews will be poured directly from tanks behind the counter and the kitchen will serve lunch and dinner from a space visible to the dining area.
“We wanted that to be part of the show,” said Marken, who was one of the original owners of The Noble Pig.
While the brewpub is still unfinished, much of the decor that will have patrons talking is already in place — from a bar composed of old barrels to the massive mural hanging over the dining area.
Local artist Kelly Wright spent hundreds of hours on a lift to complete the mural, which depicts a view of the North Shore and Bright Eye’s logo.
The brewpub also features a painting made of recycled fence posts that takes up an entire wall and doubles as soundproofing.
“Because we have so many hard surfaces in here, we were worried about noise and echoing, so four of us spent three days building this,” Marken said.
Construction is about 80 per cent complete.
Marken believes having tenants living above the establishment and having homes within walking distance will make for a regular clientele that can casually access the brewpub.