To suggest the Lion’s Head Smoke and Brew has an impressive physical presence would be to understate things.
The imposing, south-facing building happens to be situated near the foot of one of the most spectacular geological features in the area – the majestic rock formation the pub is named for.
The folks running the establishment definitely had some solid assets to work with when they took over about two and a half years ago.
They’ve made the most of their energy, work ethic and fondness for people.
“We opened the pub on July 1, 2009 and have been operating it ever since,” described Troy Pyett on Nov. 28.
He explained how it had been operated as a pub but had been closed for about eight months before he got involved with it.
The Kelowna native can trace his local history to 2002 when he arrived in the Castlegar area as a forest fire fighter.
Troy’s fiancé Carly (Hadfield) is from Victoria, he related. “We met travelling around in Southeast Asia. I brought her here about six years ago.”
The two got into the business of serving the public with a lot of idealism and great intentions. Troy had little in the way of related experience although Carly did have some formal business training in her background. She also “grew up in the pub industry,” according to Troy, “at Spinnaker’s – Canada’s oldest in-house brew pub.”
Both knew that the building and it’s location were loaded with potential, and they could clearly envision what they wanted to create.
“We definitely wanted to do B.C. craft beers, we wanted to have really good quality homemade food. We wanted to have a really welcoming atmosphere… where people walk in and it’s warm… a place they feel they can spend some time… and have that ambience they’re looking for,” said Troy.
The couple continues to find affirmation in their decision to becoming professional hosts. Each is outgoing, with a genuine desire to please.
“We really enjoy entertaining, and seeing people enjoy the product of our labours,” Troy explained.
“Carly’s a fantastic cook and she likes hosting parties and having people over. That sort of all transcended into the business.
“We’ve made some really good friends and the communities of Castlegar and Robson have embraced us,” Troy was happy to relate.
“Some of the things that people have done to help us personally with the business… they’ve gone above and beyond.
“We’re just blown away by the reaction from the community.”
Week in, week out, the Lion’s Head Pub stands at the ready, like an official “Welcome to Robson” landmark. The choice food and refreshments can always be counted on along with the homey atmosphere.
There are plenty of special events on the calendar as well as an increasing schedule of live entertainment – local favourites Phil and Kevin, for example… set to perform this Saturday night.