Downtown Kelowna watering hole serves scrumptious eats and a homey atmosphere

by Amy Stetzl - Contributor

Pamela Anderson burger. Photo by Amy Stetzl
Pamela Anderson burger. Photo by Amy Stetzl

There are many watering holes downtown Kelowna where you can begin to quench your thirst at the end of a long school day, but many of these joints are just that– a hole. However, there is a hidden gem in the heart of downtown, and right around the corner from the Queensway Bus Station: Sturgeon Hall. With its old world feel and its modern taken on hockey paraphernalia, this locally owned and operator restaurant and pub is actually a weekend double feature with Bordello’s Pizzeria just above it–but these joints are just too good to put in the same article. They each deserve their own 15 minutes of fame.

One of my favorite things about Sturgeon Hall is the atmosphere and decor: there is just something about a bench made out of old hockey sticks that makes me feel right at home. Their menu does feature the Montreal Canadiens but at least it’s a Canadian team and not my least favorite of the bunch, the Calgary Flames. Of course I’m only teasing. With one wall dedicated to autographs and vintage hockey posters, I think any thought of which team reigns supreme is forgotten–especially when you consider the variety of offerings on the list of edibles.

Some people would call it a menu but I would call it something worthy of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. There is something for everyone from appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and burgers; some of which are named after famous celebrities. Their windows boast the best soup in town but I didn’t see any on the menu... In any case we started with the Lime Salt Dry Ribs and Yam Fries. For my main I settled on the Pamela Anderson Burger, though I was almost swayed by the Josh Gorges’ Sandwich. My partner in crime ordered the Rockets Burger, and we both had salads with our burgers rather than the traditional fries because they sounded amazing.

The dry ribs and the yam fries were your standard appetizers but the lime chipotle mayo which came with the yam fries was amazing. I am not a fan of spice but this dip took sauces and dips to a whole other level. At first taste there is a strong lime flavor, from there it evolves into the familiar chipotle taste, and then–if you are like me– the spice begins to build in the back of your throat. Of course if you are a fan of heat and expose yourself to it regularly then you may not have the same aftertaste I did.

Onto Pamela Anderson: a chicken burger with avocado, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, and peppers. This burger was almost what I expect a Pamela Anderson burger to have, it washed over me like the waves on Babewatch–I mean Baywatch. There was a tad too much mayo for my taste but I did love the combination of the chicken with the avocado and the peppers. That being said, the side salad almost eclipsed it with its mix of almonds, house dressing, fresh greens, carrots, onions, cucumbers, and grated cheese. One of the best house salads I have had in awhile–and I love to make my own salads so it is hard to impress me some days.

There was no dessert offered, and I did not see a whole lot on the menu, but for a restaurant and pub I wouldn’t expect too much on that side of the fence. I had been to Sturgeon Hall once before this visit but I hardly remembered it; but with this check-in you can be sure that it will be on my go-to list.

Thanks to Katie for the recommendation: “Sturgeon Hall is my go to for comfort food.”