Matt Krause freely admits he’s pretty new to Naramata.
But his partner in the purchase of the Naramata pub has that experience, he added.
“I didn’t know much about the town, but my wife does. She grew up in the area here, so she has a connection to the community,” said Krause.
He and wife Christine just signed the final papers to take over the pub on Feb. 12.
And family, said Krause, is key to his plans for the pub, which will be opening under the new name of the Naramata Pub and Grill.
“We’re going to run it the same as it used to be, but families will be welcome,” said Krause.
In addition to a full pub menu, with burgers, steaks and the like, they are also planning to have a kids’ menu.
“We are going to have kids in here I think for the first time,” said Krause, who hopes to open the doors in May.
Before that happens, though, he said there is a lot of work to do.
He plans to leave the exterior of the building much the same, but he’s already started a complete makeover of the interior.
“I am actually an airline pilot and we have this construction business on the side, which is kind of a part-time thing,” said Krause.
That is kind of how the opportunity came up, this place is in need of a giant reno, and we decided we would renovate it and run it ourselves.”
Julius Bloomfield was part of the real estate team that helped Krause purchase the pub, along with his son Alex.
Bloomfield has his own connection with the pub; he owned and operated it from 1988 to 1992.
“I think that during the sale process, I had some pretty good chats with Matt and gave him a pretty realistic picture of what to expect and some insight into the business,” said Bloomfield, who describes the pub as a key, vibrant part of the community and the centre of many events.
“We had a very strong local clientele.
“Through the decades, it has bounced up and down a couple of times, but I think everybody in the village is waiting with baited breath to see what is going to happen to the pub,” continued Bloomfield.
“There is almost a sense of ownership with the locals that it is their place to go.”
Krause said he has some big shoes to fill.
“I don’t want to change the look of the place at all, because it has such a history in the community,” said Krause.
“I want to keep it a place where locals are happy to come.”
Bloomfield, who also manages the Naramata Inn, said Krause has his support.
“I think Matt is coming in with some ideas and a fresh approach that will do really well here,” said Bloomfield.
“I think the energy he is going to bring into the business is exactly what is needed, I don’t think the locals will be disappointed.
“This is exactly what the village needs to stay vibrant.”