Horseshoe Bay Inn ‘definitely on the up turn’

One hundred and 20 years after opening its doors, the Horseshoe Bay Inn in Chemainus is still going strong.

The Horseshoe Bay Inn in Chemainus is celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2012

One hundred and 20 years ago, the Horseshoe Bay Inn opened its doors to weary travellers on the Island.

The historic inn in Chemainus, which was established in 1892, welcomes locals and visitors to celebrate its anniversary.

In the 120 years, not much has changed.

Before it was an inn, the building served as local pub for gentlemen of the area. Today, the Horseshoe Bay Inn still serves as a popular watering hole for Ladysmith and Chemainus, but the crowd is a little more diverse.

“The heart of the place is our neighbourhood pub, and we are quite well-known for our food. We’ve got a really nice atmosphere for the pub,” said Jennifer Coyle, the pub and hotel manager for the Horseshoe Bay Inn. “Our age group is quite dynamic; we get 19-year-olds in, and you can feel comfortable to bring your grandmother.”

Coyle welcomes everyone to come to the inn and experience the rich history of the place — so long as visitors aren’t afraid of ghosts.

“Nothing menacing … but we’ve had guests come downstairs and ask where the piano music is coming from because it is so lovely, but we have to explain that there isn’t a piano in the building,” she said. “There have been visual flights of figures from time to time, just catching a glimpse of a woman or man.”

The Horseshoe Bay Inn is bouncing back from some difficult times. Coyle says it was the local loyal customers that got the place through the hard times.

“It was a little concerning for a while there. Things seem to be picking up, and we seem to be getting busier all the time. It is definitely on the up turn,” she said. “We have such a good core of local residents that have been coming here for years, and they were basically our bread and butter through the hard times.”

Renovations and improvements are planned for the upcoming year. Coyle says the hotel has an exciting future.

“We have plans in the works to expand our patio for next spring and adding some water features and beautifying it,” she said. “We are restricted for 16 people on the patio, but we have a lot of space in the back and there are areas for growth. There is talk of possibly utilizing our banquet facility and turning it into a breakfast restaurant or a café. Nothing is set in motion, but there are ideas being tossed around to be able to provide more for the customers in that sense.”

The Inn is part of Chemainus’ past but will also be part of the future. The slogan for the 120th-anniversary celebrations last week at the Horseshoe Bay Inn was “here yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

Just Posted

Ladysmith’s Weeks destined to help visitors

New Chemainus Visitor Centre Manager brings impressive credentials to the job

Historic 75th AGM highlights successes of LDCU

Ladysmith District Credit Union celebrated 75 years of service at their annual general meeting.

Father’s anguish remains three years after son’s murder in Chemainus

Derek Descoteau remembered as a young man with such a great future ahead

Have a say in the planning and development of Ladysmith

The Town is looking for residents who are engaged in their community to serve on a new committee.

LDCU celebrates 75 years of building community

Ladysmith and District Credit Union created by Ladysmith residents for the benefit of Ladysmith residents

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

B.C. ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read