It’s the final weekend for the two Johns that manage Long John’s Pub at SilverStar Mountain Resort.
And they’d like to go out not with a whimper but with a bang.
John Kane and John Earl have announced they are retiring after managing the popular establishment for 21 years.
“We want people to come in and say their farewells,” said Earl, 69. “We were going to retire a year before but then there was the COVID thing. We’ll close it down greatly.”
New managers are expected to be in place for the summer season.
Earl, Kane and a third John – John Sharp – came to Long John’s in 2001 from across the snow-covered street and the Vance Creek Hotel, where Earl served as manager for 16 years.
After deciding he didn’t want to do that anymore, Earl took six months off and when an opportunity came up to join Kane and Sharp at Long John’s, he jumped at the chance.
Sharp passed away in 2017. The two Johns have been running the joint ever since.
“It’s been awesome,” said Earl, doing the interview on the phone while Kane handled the pub on a Sunday afternoon. “We expanded in about 2007, adding 25 more seats and since then, it’s been blockbuster. We have a super loyal following. We recognize almost everybody that walks in the door.”
Opening Day in November 2001 was a bit scary, Earl recalls. The pub didn’t have a liquor licence.
“We didn’t serve liquor but we did open,” he laughed. “It took longer to happen (get the licence) than we expected. It was crazy.”
From the beginning, the pub hosted live music, basically moving some tables around to form a makeshift stage. Once the facility expanded, a tiny stage was built. Live music, said Earl, is on pretty much four nights a week at Long John’s during ski season.
Speaking of skiing, Earl plans to do more than one day a week now that he’s retiring. He’s keeping his summer gig working at Lake Country’s Ex Nihilo Vineyards and also plans to do a little bit of travelling.
“I’m going to enjoy not having to work every day if I don’t have to,” he laughed.