Owners of Sicamous’ Brothers Pub plan one last party before retirement

Owners of Sicamous’ Brothers Pub plan one last party before retirement

The Chmilar family has owned pubs in the community since 1979

The Chmilar family has seen a lot change in Sicamous over their 41 years pouring the town’s drinks at Brothers Pub and Grill.

As new management prepares to take over the pub on the community’s Main Street, the outgoing owners took some time to reflect on life serving meals and slinging libations before throwing one last party.

The Chmilar’s first foray into the pub business in Sicamous came when Rob Chmilar, his wife Peggy and parents Alex and Irene took over Caesars’ neighbourhood pub in 1979. Caesars once stood just down Main Street from their current establishment.

Owners of Sicamous’ Brothers Pub plan one last party before retirement

Rob described Caesars’ as a small watering hole with no kitchen and only one kind of beer, Carling Pilsner, offered on tap for about 50 cents a glass. It was Sicamous’ only pub at the time.

Rob, his brother Rick (Richard) and the rest of the Chmilar family soon relocated up the street to Brothers Pub’s current location, allowing them to open a cold beer and wine store along with the pub. The original Brothers Pub was largely destroyed by a fire in 1993 and then rebuilt in its current location.

Read More: Man killed during attempted arrest by RCMP near Salmon Arm

Read More: VIDEO: Kelowna animal rescue team to go help Australian wildlife

Along with the location, many other things have changed in the years for the Chmilars. Peggy said the clouds of cigarette smoke which wafted out the doors on a Friday night are a far cry from the smokeless Brothers of 2020.

Sicamous itself has also changed.

The Chmilars said the pub saw more year-round regulars when more year-round jobs from mills and dam projects were available in the area, and routinely enjoyed a packed house on nights when the softball league was playing.

Among the cast of characters to patronize the bar in past years were a group of young women who would show up unannounced on Saturday nights to perform a lip-synced routines of songs by the Supremes, complete with costumes.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the brisk business and party atmosphere on long weekends in the summer. Peggy recalled the bus tours of college students from Alberta that would often visit Sicamous over the May long weekend. She said the August long weekend has always been a fun time to work in the pub and liquor store as most of the patrons were off work and in high spirits thanks to the sunshine.

Read More: Shuswap’s popular Margaret Falls trail closed again after heavy snowfall

Read More: Trial of man accused in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire set for May

Some famous faces, mostly from the hockey world, have sat atop a barstool at Brothers. Rick recalled serving Darryl Sydor and also Ron McLean of Hockey Night in Canada.

Rick said some of his favourite patrons of the pub and liquor store were the tourists from as far afield as Germany and the Netherlands who routinely praised Sicamous for its natural beauty.

Along with the tourists, Brothers has always enjoyed a group of regulars. Rick said the walls of the pub are adorned with a couple plaques honouring loyal patrons who have since died – the Chmilars will be taking those decorations with them.

The Chmilars said the pub has been kept running by many excellent staff members over the years.

“It’s the people that make it a pub, the patrons and the staff.” Rick said.

“If you want to drink cheap booze you buy it and go home. If you want to talk to people and have fun, you go to the pub.”

Brothers is gearing up for one last party on Jan. 11 under the current management before the new owners take over on Jan. 15. The Chmilars are easing into retirement, and hope the pub’s regular patrons will help send them off with a bang.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm City Hall is closing between noon and 2 p.m. effective April 12, 2021. (File photo)
Pandemic precautions change hours at Salmon Arm city hall

Public will still be able to access services online during two hours when facility closed

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Interior Health announces 89 cases of COVID-19 in the region

Currently, there are 900 active cases in the region

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Scotch Creek residents on the Saratoga water system will be without water for most of April 14 as the Columbia Shuswap Regional works on water system upgrades. (File photo)
Water system shutdown planned for Scotch Creek

Residents on Saratoga system encouraged to store water in case shutdown is longer than expected

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A five-storey, 60-unit building has been proposed for 8709 Jubilee Rd. E., Summerland. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on March 22. (Image by GTA Architecture)
Zoning, OCP amendments adopted for Summerland housing development

Council gives final readings for controversial five-storey, 60-unit housing development

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

Most Read