The Lakehouse Home Store in downtown Kelowna officially opened its second location last Friday in part of the former Flashback Nightclub on Ellis Street beside BNA. Owners Ben and Sue Boschman are calling it a “very soft opening” for now, as they continue to arrange the decor of the two storey showroom and fill it up with hundreds of furniture items, from sofas and tables, to bedding and vases, merchandise too large to fit into their 4,200-square-foot store on the corner of Bernard and Ellis.
Three years ago, the Boschman’s collected a national global innovator award from Home Style Magazine for the Bernard Avenue outlet’s “well executed vision”. That location will remain much the same and continue to stock gourmet kitchen merchandise, along with smaller home accents and giftware, items generally not found anywhere else in the region.
What partly necessitated the second, much larger location, was not only a showroom to fit the varied selection of industrial, classic, vintage and modern furniture, but space for a commercial cooking school. In late November, the Boschman’s applied for a liquor licence to serve alcohol to accommodate cooking classes in the heritage building. The liquor licence, if approved allows the home store to serve up to 50 people from 11am until midnight.
“The commercial cooking school will provide a form of entertainment missing in the downtown core. Kelowna has a growing food, winery, brewery and cider culture. This business is intended to complement these uses by showcasing locally grown and produced products in the cooking classes,” reads the application.
Talking with Sue Boschman, she says the school will offer two kinds of classes, “demonstration-style and participation-style”. The classes will take place between 6pm and 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, outside of their retail hours. Lakehouse is not new to offering cooking classes as they did it before to much fanfare – the classes always sold out well in advance.
This time around, they’ll be able to double the size of the classes to 16, as well as offer up a number of individual stations for those aspiring chefs-to-be to come in and experiment in the space. She also says that you can expect a number of local celebrity chefs like Ross Derrick of Codfathers to head up some of the classes. Cooking class costs will not change much from before, with a $80 fee attached to most.
The cooking class space is not quite ready yet however. It will take up a large room at the back of the second floor accessible via the modern side addition to the heritage building on the north end – a great looking steel and glass extension. Currently the room is obscured by construction plywood, so we couldn’t see it, but expect it to be up and running in April.
As for the rest of the space, it’s big, old and beautiful, everything you would expect from a heritage building that's been refurbished and brought back from the dead. It features a lot of exposed brick, a couple of vintage wood fireplaces, huge wooden beams, and refinished thick slabs of hardwood throughout. On the second floor, the former Flashback Nightclub, the Boschman’s left the floor to ceiling metal poles standing that used to be on either side of the stage, a nod to its colourful past as Kelowna's multigenerational music venue.
The second Lakehouse Home Store, located at 1264 Ellis Street is open 10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday.