WHALLEY — A colourful new name will soon grace one of the few venues in the city dedicated to live, original music.
Olympia Pizza has been sold by Lord Macalanda, who made the Food Primary-licensed establishment a hub for live entertainment over the past 12 years.
He has transfered ownership of the business to family friend Kilba Peacock, who intends to renovate and rename the place as Peacock Bar & Grill.
“I intend to keep the entertainment going, we’re just going to build on it,” Peacock told the Now last week.
“We’re going to change the name but build on the reputation here, the good things,” he added. “I’m trying to find a way to improve on everything here. We’ll change the layout a bit, redo the stage, because it’s not exactly the way I’d like it to be.”
A Boxing Day show by Juno Award-winning rapper Madchild served as Macalanda’s farewell as owner/operator of the Olympia, although he’ll “hang around” for a few weeks to help Peacock during the transition phase.
Under Macalanda’s ownership, the Olympia has been a stage for performers in multiple genres of music, including hip-hop, metal and hard rock.
“People were hounding me on Facebook asking why I want to give it up, what’s happening, but it’s just time for me to do something different,” Macalanda explained.
“Things happen, right, and I have to move on and do some other stuff. I’m a young guy so I’ll try something different. This is just a chapter of my life that will be closed, and I’ll write another chapter.”
Peacock, who met Macalanda through their mutual wives, does not have previous experience in the restaurant/bar business, other than employment at the Olympia in recent times.
“I came down to work for him (Macalanda) and enjoyed the vibe, the environment, and I wanted to be part of that,” Peacock said. “I told him that I wanted to open my own place but then he said, ‘Why don’t you just pick up this and run it?’ So that’s what we did.”
Renovations will take place over the next six weeks, with the re-opening as Peacock Bar & Grill slated for Feb. 14, Peacock estimated.
“We want to include everyone in Surrey who wants to perform and also listen to music, as much as we can, the variety. But yes, live music will be the focus,” he explained.
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Peacock, originally from Nigeria, said he immigrated to Canada in 1996, via Spain. He has lived in Surrey since 2004.
“I’m excited about this but at the same time, a little bit scared,” Peacock shared. “I don’t want it to fail and have something that was going well and then ruin it. I want to improve on it and make it better. We want to make it a fun place to be.”
Macalanda said he’s hoping Peacock succeeds.
“I’m happy that I made the Olympia a household name for local musicians and fans, and now I want (Peacock) to take it to that highest level possible,” Macalanda said. “Right now, I’m helping him by introducing him to people, the promoters and bands.”
Surrey’s downtown core needs more live-entertainment options, Macalanda underlined.
“This area, they keep building the towers and bringing the people in, but how are the people going to be entertained? There is very little, so that’s what we try to do here,” he said. “You have to create something to make people want to walk around, enjoy themselves, like in (Vancouver). Here in Surrey, it needs that, that entertainment area.”