Downtown Kelowna: does it have too many darn restaurants?

With Kelowna's historic Paramount Theatre set to become a restaurant, some people are asking why, especially when there are so many downtown and it seems like they lack staying power.

Historic Paramount Theatre set to become restaurant. Some are asking why.

Has Kelowna's downtown hit "peak restaurant?"

The city's Paramount Theatre's is slated to close, to be replaced with another restaurant, and the fact that many restaurants seem to come and go quickly has a lot of people saying exactly that.

"There's nothing downtown except restaurants. It's just sad," said one man who spoke to Radio West in downtown Kelowna.

"The restaurants come and go," agreed another woman.

The executive director of the Downtown Kelowna Association says new restaurants are great, but the city needs a variety of businesses.

"Obviously in downtown you want to have a great mixture of various different types of businesses," Peggy Athans told Radio West host Rebecca Zandbergen.

"We don't want to have just restaurants," Athans said. "We want to have a vibrant downtown with retail chains, retail outlets, privately-owned chains, some anchor tenants, office buildings, residential. We want services that you and I want to have at our fingertips every day."

Athans says restaurants need to be sustainable if they want to survive, which can be a challenge when many Kelowna restaurant patrons arrive in the summer months.

"It's just about providing value to the customer," she said, noting that many businesses have been able to thrive over the long term.

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Has Kelowna's downtown hit 'peak restaurant?'


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