End of an Era

February 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm (Food, Penticton, Photography) (, , , , , )

Most people in the south Okanagan know Salty’s Beach House. Back in the 80s, veteran world traveler and notorious local Rob Wylie cruised the streets of Penticton with his brother and lamented there was nowhere ‘fun’ to go hang out on the beach. Resolved to change that, and armed with a $20,000 loan Rob purchased an ice-cream shack on Lakeshore Drive and Salty’s was born.

Through the years he crafted Salty’s into ‘the’ place to be, using a simple recipe of good food from around the world, good drink, good music, good people and good atmosphere. He curated easily the best patio in Penticton. Rob expanded the restaurant in size and scope, including building the Black Pearl Lounge and Oyster Bar by adding a second level to the existing structure.

By any account the restaurant was a huge success, in the summer the line up often stretched well down the sidewalk. And unlike most places in the service industry, Salty’s staff turnover rate was incredible small. Some employees have been there 10, 15, and even 20 years. That’s not a fluke. I had the privilege of working there for four years myself some years ago.

Rob Wylie passed away tragically in the spring of last year. He was a local fixture, both a humanitarian and a madman. He is sorely missed by a great many people in this community. He was a great man, a great friend, and a great boss.

Sadly all things must come to pass. Salty’s has been sold, and this was the last night Salty’s was in the Wylie family. In proper Salty’s fashion, the event was marked by a huge celebration. I saw a great many friends, old and new, all touched in some way by Salty’s and/or Rob.

Pictured here is Arla Wylie, Rob’s niece, leading us in a toast to Rob’s memory. I wasn’t the only one getting misty eyed.

Arla

She said:

I know when It’s my time, Rob will be on that pirate ship, and he’ll pass me a madrid with one hand, pull me up on the deck with the other, and ask what took me so long…

A few more pictures from the evening:

Tassani

Taps

Boat Drink

My good friend Sean shows me what his drink of choice is

Wendel double fists a Madrid and beer while Joe D tried to get the bartender's attention

Fantastic painting by former Salty's cook (and current artist!) 'Calgary' Joe D

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