Brexit may be imminent, but this B.C. pub plans to keep the name going
'The pub itself is mainly poking fun at British stereotypes,' says owner.
Nearly two years ago, when British expat Martyn Lewis opened his pub in Penticton, B.C., he admittedly called it the Brexit Pub as a way of getting publicity.
The possibility of the U.K. leaving the European Union was a hot topic of conversation, and he needed to get some buzz for his new establishment.
"Penticton is a very difficult economy to do business with, so I needed a name that wasn't boring and that was impactful, and Brexit really paid dividends," said Lewis, who grew up in Liverpool.
"It's been really well received."
So well received in fact, that even though the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union on Jan. 31, Lewis plans on keeping the name Brexit for his south Okanagan pub.
The pub owner said his place is meant to make fun of England a bit, and so this name fits in well with that theme.
"There's a lot more that I can do with it. The pub itself is mainly poking fun at British stereotypes, and once you enter the pub, you kind of see that there's a bit of comedy value to what we've got going on," he told Daybreak South host Chris Walker.
The pub's logo is designed to look the same as the signs in London's subway stations, also known as "the Tube," the bathroom is modelled to look like a classic British police station and there's even a fake crosswalk to mimic the iconic Abbey Road Beatles photo.
Meanwhile, the menu features typical British pub fare with dishes like fish and chips and bangers and mash.
When he first opened the bar, Canadians really took to the name, however it stirred up a lot of controversy on social media "fuelled by angry British expats."
"I could certainly get away with using the brand a lot better out in North America than over in Britain," said Lewis.
"I would not dare open a pub called Brexit in Great Britain."
Ironically, Lewis said he won't be marking the actual date of Brexit with an event at his downtown pub, because he doesn't think he would have voted in favour of the U.K. leaving the European Union.
"The name Brexit doesn't align with my political views, so I didn't want to hold an event. It might seem like a bit of a right wing event," he said.
"I've had a lot of requests to do a Brexit party, but I don't want to celebrate that."
Regardless, Lewis will stick with the name Brexit Pub.
"I think I can run with the brand for quite some time and I'd like to expand it a little bit."
With files from Daybreak South
To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.
Become a CBC Account Holder
Join the conversation Create account
Already have an account?