One of the Few Establishments to Serve Murphy's Stout
By CATHOLINE BUTLER
BRIAN HUNTER, owner of Penny Lane Pub, with Bruce Brill of Heineken Canada/Murphy's Irish Stout. Penny Lane is one of the few pubs that serve Murphy's Irish Stout.
VANCOUVER - Brian Hunter the owner of the Penny Lane Neighbourhood Pub on Main Street, refers to his establishment as an "enhanced living room for his regular customers to hang out."
Brian has many regulars that he knows on a first name basis and who often bring along friends to relax in the friendly atmosphere at the pub.
Hunter has been at his popular establishment for the past 14 years, and before taking ownership of the pub he was the sales manager and a sales representative for Molson Brewery for over 24 years.
"You would think that with my background at Molson Brewery, the transition to being a pub owner would be pretty smooth," he said, "but in fact, it's a lot different on the other side of the bar. We went through some very tough times, but I don't regret it."
Brian started out in business with a partner, and six years ago the original partner was bought out by Carlos Brito - who Brian refers to not only as his partner, but also a great friend.
The Penny Lane Neighbourhood Pub is one of the few establishments to serve Murphy's Stout. They have also just installed five new LCD flat screen televisions to watch all the sports.
They do not have regularly scheduled entertainment, but at the moment they're considering comedy nights and other entertainment since one of the servers is a stand-up comedian, and another is an entertainer.
Three years ago, Hunter opened Penny Lane Spirits at 49th and Victoria Drive. The store stocks all the popular beer, wine, and spirits, and is open from 11 AM to 11 PM Monday to Friday and 10 AM to 11 PM Saturday and Sundays.
They are also open on Christmas Day from 10 AM to 6 PM and New Year's Day from 10 AM to 11 PM. With the Government Liquor stores closing at 6 PM and closed Sundays and all holidays the hours at Penny Lane Spirits are a very convenient alternative.
A few years ago, Brian visited Ireland for the first time and he recalls the fun and fond memories he holds of that trip, saying the best thing about Ireland is the people.
He recalls visiting a place called Sneem in the Ring of Kerry with a pub that he dropped into a few times. One the local characters, with the map of Ireland on his face, always had a whiskey and a Guinness in front of him.
He was the postman, and each day after his rounds, he would drop in to the pub. Brian said he was amazed when he later became famous as the face of MasterCard.
Every St. Patrick's Day the Penny Lane serves an Irish breakfast and Mary Ann Meegan of Meegan Insurance in Coquitlam brings in plates of Irish soda bread and current scones to be served at the breakfast, which the regulars and visitors love.
Speaking about Christmas and New Year's at the Penny Lane, Brian said, "we close early Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is the only day we close at the pub.
"On New Year's Eve we're open and while we don't have entertainment we do have a lot of the regulars along with the bar staff and their families. We provide champagne and noise makers at midnight and this is really a big family deal at Penny Lane."
Penny Lane Pub is located at 5688 Main Street in Vancouver at 41st and Main Street. For more information, call (604) 327-2522. Penny Lane Spirits is located at 6509 Victoria Drive in Vancouver at 49th and Victoria. For more information, call (604) 321-9189.