The Royal will re-open next month with a new look and a new attitude.
The new tenant-operators of the Baker Street music venue — Shane Dayman and Shane Vassell — have spent the past month renovating. They upgraded the sound system and dusted off some additional stage lighting that wasn’t in use. The whole place is freshly painted, including some new murals, and the bar has been spruced up with modern stonework and a new surface.
The kitchen was completely gutted and re-built to make way for increased food production. The plan is to run it as a restaurant seven days a week and move the tables out for events in the evenings.
“You’re not going to see this place dark in the daytime,” said Dayman who moved from Langley to run The Royal. “We’ll be open daily at 11 a.m. as a restaurant and have happy hour around 5 or 6, then at 8 p.m. it will turn into a nightclub that goes until around 1 a.m. the next day.”
Dayman has worked in the food industry for 20 years and previously owned a restaurant franchise. Vassell runs a telecommunications company in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The pair came to Nelson for a change of pace and a new challenge.
“We want to build on The Royal’s good reputation and hold onto that label of ‘Best Live Music Venue in Interior BC,’” Vassell said.
They’re already booking well into the New Year for bands that are eager to play at their favourite venue in town.
“We’ve heard from a lot of bands that can’t wait to get back in here,” Vassell said.
In addition to hosting live concerts, the pair will also be targeting the college crowd with club nights. And for folks who aren’t into the typical nightlife scene, they’ll have comedy nights, open mic, dinner theatre, and games night (pool and poker).
“The focus is really on offering a lot of variety,” Dayman said. “You won’t come here two Wednesdays in a row and find the same thing happening.”
Dayman and Vassell hope to have The Royal open by December 1 or as soon as they can secure a liquor licence for the bar. They’re currently in the process of designing a new website. In the meantime, watch for updates at facebook.com/TheRoyalOnBaker.