Karen Penaluna isn’t letting the closure of Pint and Pie get her down as she looks for a smaller venue to open. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Karen Penaluna isn’t letting the closure of Pint and Pie get her down as she looks for a smaller venue to open. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

COVID claims another Vernon business

Taps run dry at Pint and Pie

Timing couldn’t have been any worse.

After putting thousands of dollars (and hours of labour) into an old building to bring a new pub to town, business took a beating by the pandemic.

Not long after Pint and Pie opened its doors Oct. 31, 2019, COVID-19 closed them.

Two years of restrictions, rules and several other factors, forced the British-style restaurant on 32nd Street to close its doors for good April 16, 2022.

“When we opened it was really bad timing, none of us knew this pandemic was going to happen,” owner Karen Penaluna said.

“We were kinda shut down before we even got started.”

While the old Yat Sen Chinese food restaurant once again sits empty and vacant, Pint and Pie isn’t over just yet.

Despite the losses, Penaluna is taking a much-needed break and looking for a smaller spot to re-open the beloved pub.

“We are going to spring up somewhere else,” she said, as they are actively looking for a new location.

She doesn’t expect anything will come available until after summer, so she and her kids have been working hard to store their equipment and furnishings for when that day comes.

“The only saving grace is wherever we fire up we’ve got equipment.”

They’ve looked at a few places around town but haven’t found anything suitable yet. Anyone who might have that perfect is urged to contact her at karenpenaluna@hotmail.com.

And she knows the customers will be back.

“People are hooked on the pies,” Penaluna said of the meat pies, not pizzas or fruit pies that some customers thought the name meant.

Such pies, served with a pint of beer, are a popular fare in Britain.

“I’ve been in this business for a long time,” said Penaluna, whose mom was a chef. “When we came to Vernon, we thought, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have a British style tap house?’”

Using all B.C. beers, it turned out the locals fancied the idea as well.

“We do have a lot of British people come too.”

Penaluna opened Pint and Pie in Vernon in the nearly 50-year-old brick restaurant after operating the Copper Island Inn in Scotch Creek from 2004 until it burned down in 2017.

She even brought a few of the items that were salvaged from the Copper Inn Pub to Pint and Pie, and will bring them along to the new location.

She’s hopeful the customers, and employees will come too.

“The staff has stuck with us through thick and thin so hopefully when we find a new location they will come with us.”

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Karen Penaluna isn't letting the closure of Pint and Pie get her down as she looks for a smaller venue to open. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)