The Fernie Hotel & Pub is new, improved and reopened to the public.
On December 20, after more than a month of intense renovations, the Fernie Hotel unveiled their newly renovated space.
According to manager Stef Proulx, “it’s almost unrecognizable but with the same Fernie Hotel feel. It was just like a facelift for The Fernie. You’ll still see the taxidermy on the walls and the funny signs and stuff.”
Alongside the old favourite decor, there is one very noticeable change to the pub space. Over 20 brand new televisions line the walls of the room.
“We’re really kind of focusing ourselves towards becoming a sports bar so obviously you want to be able to watch anything and everything from every seat in the house and I think we’ve achieved that,” explained Proulx. “There’s a TV everywhere.”
Along with the new entertainment system came a new bar, new tables and chairs, a larger stage and new equipment for the kitchen. Proulx explained the upgrades by saying, “we literally renovated everything.”
As part of the new entertainment system, Proulx said, “we had professional sound people come in and tell us about the room acoustics and what will sound good so we opened everything up so that sound can now travel throughout the entire place.” This, coupled with the larger stage means that the Fernie Hotel plans to be able to host more live music.
It wasn’t just the physical space that got a facelift, however. Both the food and drink menu underwent an overhaul.
“There’s a lot that’s new but there’s also a lot that’s the same but improved,” Proulx said of the menu. “We wanted to not just be pub grub. We wanted to take a step forward and have a little bit more of a diversified menu.”
Although fan favourites like the fish and chips and clam chowder are here to stay, the menu features quite a few new items. Everything from latkes to quesadillas and charcuterie boards to appetizer platters now adorn the significantly expanded menu.
One of the most noteworthy changes in terms of food is actually a late night menu.
“A big thing in terms of food that I think is going to be really cool is we’re going to do a late night menu on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. until midnight,” said Proulx. “It will pretty much be the only place in town where you can get food past 10 p.m.”
The late night menu features quick and easy snacks that can be served up fast and enjoyed without the need for a fork and knife. They can also be enjoyed with one of the various new beverages the Fernie Hotel has on offer.
“A huge new feature is our tap system,” Proulx explained while pointing out the 20 new beer taps. With 18 beers on tap, including several rotating brews, an extended wine list and a new cocktail menu, customers have been loving the changes to the menu.
Despite some trepidation over what the locals might think of the newly renovated space, the customers seem to have been loving that as well.
“It could have been a little hit or miss just because there is so much that is different and there is so much history in this building and this is, I think… this is probably the most drastic change the Fernie hotel has seen,” said Proulx.
Although the changes are drastic, Proulx believes the feedback has been fantastic. She pointed out that “people have very specific memories of this place and they sit at a certain spot at the bar every time they come in. Even though those things have changed, the feedback has been good because the regulars are excited to explore and find their new spot. They’ve been very receptive of everything that is new.”