Plates are ready to be served for lunch and head chef Gus Krokas is on to the next dish. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Saltair Pub back in business after a long hiatus

Vandalism during last year’s windstorm kept the doors closed for many months

It’s been a long time coming, but the Saltair Pub is finally back in business.

The establishment on Knight Road hasn’t been open since before last December’s windstorm that knocked out power in the area for several days. It was during that time, owner Dave Prakash said, the Saltair Pub was hit by vandals.

Extensive damage was done inside the building and many items were stolen, including four TVs and precious antiques. Prakash said the diligence of Ladysmith RCMP resulted in some items being recovered.

Thieves took full advantage of the security alarm being deactivated during the power outage. The building required considerable clean-up before it could become operational again.

“Insurance would not cover it because the power was out and no security,” Prakash indicated.

“I had to use the cash flow from my other businesses to sink it in here.”

Prakash is happy that’s all behind him and the iconic location reopened the doors July 31.

“I welcome the people – the local people, the tourists,” he said. “We want to get the entertainment back weekly. We’re trying to work that out.”

Prakash also has plans to eventually utilize the former beer and wine store next door as a site for catering or special events. But that’s getting ahead of things, and the main focus at the moment is to bring back the customers.

Unfortunately, a large chunk of the busier summer season has been lost, but Prakash is literally just trying to pick up the pieces and make sure everything gets back to normal as quickly as possible.

“If I would have opened it sooner, it was in my best interest with more revenue in summertime than wintertime,” he conceded.

Staffing was obviously a top priority before reopening and Prakash called upon friend Gus Krokas as manager and head chef.

“He’s got a lot of experience with this kind of establishment,” Prakash pointed out. “He comes up front and talks to the people.”

The menu features affordable and popular food selections for lunch and dinner.

Prakash added Chelsea Kensall, who was previously a staff member at the Horseshoe Bay Inn, has been brought in as a server/bartender. He has six employees to start and will add a few more as demand requires.

“Good staff is very important,” said Prakash.

“Now that we are here, a lot of people are coming in. This is my favourite pub. This is a very classic place.”

Many people feel the same way about the building’s heritage style and the beautiful surrounding greenery.

“When I come in here, I feel happy because it seems like a paradise,” enthused Prakash.

The Saltair Pub is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

Chef Gus Krokas making a grilled chicken burger. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Jennifer Hickman whips up some salad in the kitchen. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Saltair Pub hasn’t been open since before the windstorm of last December. (Photo by Don Bodger)

It has indeed been a long wait for the reopening of the Saltair Pub. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Server Chelsea Kensall with some plates of luncheon food. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Arts on the Avenue turns 21 this weekend

1st Avenue will have a weekend full of arts on display Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Ladysmith gallery hosts Island Living Art Show

Nanaimo Arts Council exhibition opens at the Waterfront Gallery on Aug. 24

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Nanaimo Ladysmith education support workers’ deal ratified

CUPE Local 606, Nanaimo school district and bargaining agent ratify deal, which runs till June 2022

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Retired Vancouver Island teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Patrick Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Most Read