WHALLEY — Carlene Lucke has fond memories of eating at Olympia Pizza when she was a kid.
“When I was six or seven years old, my grandmother lived at Fraser Highway and 140th in a trailer park there, so we used to walk from there to Olympia and have pasta or some kind of Greek meal, then we’d walk down to Dairy Queen and have some ice cream and then walk back home,” Lucke recalled with a smile. “I have those memories, so it’s good to be back here, and it’s a lot different now of course.”
Today, the restaurant has morphed into Peacock Bar & Grill, a place for food and live music.
Last week, the establishment’s colourful new sign was placed on the exterior of the strip-mall building, at 10257 King George Blvd.
In the tradition of the most recent incarnation of the Olympia, the Peacock will continue presenting live music and other forms of entertainment seven nights a week.
In January, Olympia operator Lord Macalanda transfered ownership of the business to family friend Kilba Peacock, who hired Lucke as manager.
In the weeks since then, the place has been renamed, renovated and repositioned as a venue that stages even more diverse forms of entertainment.
“We want to continue what the Olympia was doing and open it up even a little bit more,” Lucke told the Now. “Not everybody’s into hip-hop, so we’ve brightened up the venue and put up some TVs, so we’ll promote some sporting events and have a greater variety of artists come in. We really want to open it up to the entire community.”
Lucke has a history working with youth and in the mental health field.
“I’m really interested in community support and especially with youth services, so this being an all-ages venue, I think it’s a great opportunity to open it up to the community, and especially the youth within the community, to give them, you know, a safe haven to come and perform and show their skills,” she said.
“Right now, it’s just about spreading the word that our doors are open,” she continued.
“We have a large population of youth who have passion for art, music, and they have nowhere to put that anymore, and that’s one of the things I most valued when I came into this place, that it’s an all-ages venue, that kids and families are welcome to enjoy what is presented here,” Lucke added. “You may not like the music on a Friday night, but then on the Saturday night we’ll serve you something different in terms of entertainment. It also gives the youth of this area to come and do their performances.”
At the Peacock on Friday (April 8), a night of metal music features a Not in Public album-release “pizza party” presented by Known Aim Productions and Spawner Records. The entertainment calendar includes events staged by Red Beard Entertainment and Where It’s At Entertainment.
“We’re seeing what works on what nights, and looking for new things,” Lucke said.
“Our open-mic nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays are another outlet. The other night we had a three-year-old rapping here on stage, absolutely, and people loved that. You don’t have to be the best, be a rock star, you just have to have that passion and drive to perform.”