Beagle closure part of village evolution
The Savage Beagle Nightclub has been home to some of the wildest bashes in Whistler history, but soon it will be history.
Jack Evrensel, who owns the Beagle and the space it occupies, says the nightclub will be closing in two or three weeks — likely before the Labour Day Weekend — to make way for retail shops. A new, split-level nightclub will be built below the Beagle.
"It will be three retail spaces, for high end, high quality shops," Evrensel says, adding he has two retailers signed to leases and a verbal agreement with a third.
There is no name yet for the new club, but Evrensel says "it will be a little different.
"After eight years of the Beagle, this is an opportunity to do it right from scratch," he says.
The Beagle will be giving away old photos and T-shirts from the past eight years during special celebrations on Thursdays for the next couple of weeks.
But the Beagle closure is just one of many changes taking place in the village this year, as established businesses are to upgrading to keep pace with the large amounts of new retail, restaurant and nightclub space that have become available with the development of Village North and Whistler Village Centre.
Peter's Underground, one of the original restaurants in Whistler Village was recently granted a cabaret licence after the owner decided underground restaurant space is no longer viable. The Aviano restaurant was renovated two months ago and will add a bistro this fall. Whistler Mountain is expanding its Village Gondola station to include a 225-seat nightclub/bar.
Meanwhile, the retail spaces in the Timberline Mall, which have always been legally stratified, are now being offered for sale by the building's new owner, Trilogy Development Corp.
Dick Gibbons, who owns the Longhorn Saloon and has a tentative deal with Trilogy to buy the former Buffalo Bill's nightclub space, has written to Whistler council expressing concern about the proliferation of liquor licensed seats in the village, including the granting of a C licence to Peter's Underground.
"For reasons that I can only speculate on, staff and council have supported the potential of a doubling of liquor licensed seats, within the Village, all of which may occur within a matter of months," Gibbons writes. "I find this rather reckless approach to the orderly operation of the Village area to be totally inconsistent with the care and concern that staff and council has shown in most other areas of development."
Council dismissed his concerns, noting that, for example, there has been no call to limit the number of restaurants in the village area.