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

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to earlier raid on Chemainus property

Saltair Marine’s ‘Silver Bullet’ found by RCMP months after reported theft

The $20,000 vessel was stolen from the Ladysmith Marina back in July

Ladysmith author wins American award for her new children’s book: The Moon Watched it All

Shelley Leedahl’s book took gold in the All Ages Picture Book category

Ladysmith Historical Society sees big turnout for salmon dinner fundraiser

Over 200 people attended the event held as a fundraiser to support the Society

Nanaimo Ladysmith school district deciding how best to provide menstrual products for students

Early cost estimates tag $75,000 for product dispensers; trustees seek student consultation

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Campaign brings NDP leader Jagmeet Singh through Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Singh says his party has ‘momentum’ heading into election day

Greens want climate protection added to international trade agreements

Green Party leader Elizabeth May campaigns in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Most Read