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Squamish's Shady Tree Neighbourhood Pub up for lease

Owner looking to spend more time in nature after 23 years at the helm of landmark neighbourhood pub
Shady Tree
For lease signs went up at the Shady Tree on June 30.

It marks the end of an era.

On Tuesday (June 30), Eivind Tornes, owner of The Shady Tree Neighbourhood Pub put up "For Lease" signs in front of his pub.

"Thinking long and hard to make the right decision I have decided to change the role I have with the pub and take a step back and work with the pub in a different capacity," he said in a letter to his 30 former employees that he shared with The Chief.

"This will be in some form or way to lease the pub to people that [have] the energy, experience, and a solid financial background to bring this iconic pub to the next level, bringing with fresh ideas and a vision for the future. It is my full intention to have this pub continue its success story long into the future."

Tornes built the 9,000 square-foot pub in 1997 and ran it until it closed in March, like many restaurants in town, due to provincial restrictions aimed to halt the spread of COVID-19.

He carved the wooden mural — which created an allergy to cedar, he says with a laugh — and his wildlife photography hangs throughout.

At 64, Tornes says he is ready to spend more time in the alpine and with his wife Terry, whom he originally met at the pub, he told The Chief.

"Life goes on," he said.

"When I look at the [wildlife] photographs, I am really sad because I remember everything about when I took the photos of the bears and the goats and they are all dead now — because they have a lifespan of 18 years or something and so that made me realize that we have a lifespan, too."

Tornes came to Canada from Norway on a boat in 1980.

He had $20 in his pocket, a tent and a backpack.

"I didn't speak the language, hardly at all, and it moved on from there."

He has had two companies since.

Previously, he had a tour company.

When he moved to Squamish he built his own house on Glacier View Drive and owned and rented out two houses on the Shady Tree property, but both burned down.

He wanted to do something so thought a pub would fit the bill.

"I don't think there are too many neighbourhood pubs with one single owner for 23 years operating in B.C.," he said.

He said he has never poured a drink, even though he owns the pub and he has only been on site for last call twice in all that time, because he is not a night person.

"So it is kind of unusual," he said with a hearty laugh.

 He has no plans to leave Squamish.

"I totally enjoy my life and my wife," he said, adding that she is happy he is stepping back from the pub.

"I want to simplify my life, that is the bottom line." 

Shady tree
Source: Mykel Thuncher

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