The Royal‘s proprietor Dale Arsenault is trying to realize his vision of the space.
“I see this place as a dancing lounge, where people can eat dinner, listen to nice music. Basically have a good time,” he said.
Unfortunately, due to the restrictions on his liquor license, he currently has to run the venue as a food-primary restaurant.
“The hard part is we’re not allowed to dance yet. I’ve been battling with city hall, with Victoria to get that all approved. I’m going for another attachment to my license so I can stay open until 2 instead of midnight. I want to get this place back to where it was,” he said.
Arsenault managed bars and restaurants for 25 years before moving to Nelson, where he opened Boomtown Sports Emporium in 1996.
Arsenault said he’s passionate about The Royal, calling it a “crucial” part of the community. When asked if he would consider changing the name, he quickly shook his head.
“The Royal? Never. This is the Royal.”
Earlier this year Arsenault told the Star his establishment would be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, one of those meals has already gotten the axe.
“Nobody’s coming to a pub for breakfast,” said Arsenault, who is now focusing on lunch and dinner. He said they have Red Seal chefs cooking exciting new dishes, and he recently hosted the mayor.
“The mayor came night before last. Enjoyed himself. Said he’s going to help us speed the process along, so we can dance,” he said.
Arsenault is also hosting multi-genre open mics on Sundays and actively seeking new musical acts.
“The baby grand piano is all tuned up and sounds amazing in there,” he said.
For updates, see facebook.com/theroyalonbaker.