The British are coming! The British are coming!
And they’re bringing a few pints, a dozen or so new jobs and maybe some bangers and mash.
The owners of Nanaimo’s Fox and Hounds Pub announced late last year they were moving their establishment to Ladysmith.
True to their word, things are already in motion.
“We’re in the process of buying the old Home Hardware store (21 High St.), and that’s what we’re planning on turning into the Fox and Hounds,” said Brad Ivens, on behalf of his vacationing parents, Jane and Trevor Ivens, owners of the Fox and Hounds.
“We plan on opening at the beginning of the summer — June or July, is when it should be open.”
The decision to move the pub was an easy one, said Brad.
“We own Fibber McGees (in Nanaimo) as well, and the Fox and Hounds and Fibber were way too much alike and only two blocks away from each other,” he said.
“So, we decided to completely change the Fox and Hounds into what is now the Pig and Whistle, which is more an English bistro.”
Besides, he added: “Ladysmith is dying for a place like this and we’ve always wanted to have a place in Ladysmith.”
The new establishment will be a pub-style restaurant “so kids will be allowed in,” Brad said.
“We plan on employing 10 or 12 people, all local Ladysmith people.”
The old hardware store will be divided; half will be the kitchen, and the other half will be seating for between 60 and 70 patrons.
“And the upstairs will actually be used as a suite,” said Ivens, who added the timing is right to set up in Ladysmith, a move that means the Ivenses will own four pubs in the mid-Island, including the Fox and Hound, Pig and Whistle, Fibber Magee’s and Parksville’s Black Goose Inn.
“It’s quite exciting for all of us, really,” Brad said.