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Bowling, batting and brews: New Saanich eatery set to open in Uptown

The Canadian Brewhouse and Grill will blend recreation, dining experiences

It’s a beehive of activity inside The Canadian Brewhouse and Grill, which is set to open in a second- and third-floor space at Uptown in Saanich.

With a soft opening planned for June 13, crews were going flat out Friday, putting finishing touches on everything from bars to seating areas to the massive open-air rooftop lounge area.

But one thing stands out to the visitor upon climbing the stairs from Uptown Boulevard to the main floor: a six-lane, 10-pin bowling alley.

Situated between two bars and adjacent to a large sports-themed dining area, the lanes are one of multiple unique facets of this 42nd location for Edmonton-based The Canadian Brewhouse. Another is the batting cages, being constructed on the roof.

“This is a concept for us that is fun to execute, there’s not any really high-end or top-level sports bars on the Island, that’s the market we wanted to capture,” said James Martyn, vice-president of human resources for The Canadian Brewhouse. “We’ve been hard at it for four months and looks like the day’s here.”

The company has been looking to open in Greater Victoria for some time, he said. The bowling lanes were part of the original plan brought to Saanich council in 2019, when the company looked to open one of its Banquet restaurants in the space. Besides operating under the two names in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and southern Ontario, the company also operates a chain of cannabis retail stores.

There has been no bowling in the general area since the 24-lane five-pin house Town and Country Lanes was torn down in 2007, along with the rest of the plaza, to make way for Uptown. The 10-pin Mayfair Lanes was torn down in 2006 to make way for what was to be a Great Canadian Superstore, but owner Loblaw has yet to build anything on the vacant property.

Martyn called Uptown a destination spot with plenty of foot traffic and is excited that the District of Saanich has created a high-density residential and commercial zone in Uptown-Douglas that will eventually see even more people living in the general area.

RELATED STORY: Uptown-Douglas Plan approved after Saanich public hearing

The addition of this new tenant will bring more vibrancy and late-night activity to Uptown, said the property’s general manager Kristy Lowes.

“We are thrilled … this is something we’ve been planning for a long time. It falls in that live, work, play mentality.” Part of that includes a 24-storey rental building proposed for the lot behind Whole Foods.

With its varied offerings, The Canadian Brewhouse and Grill may also be good for other businesses at Uptown, she said.

Martyn expects most people to be surprised when they walk in to the new eatery as they’re “offering something unique to our guests.”

The restaurant, located above the Urban Trail retail store, will have close to 600 seats between its main floor lounge and dining area, second-floor lounge and the rooftop patio. It is aiming to be open until 2 a.m. seven days a week, with minors welcome until 8 p.m.

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