Written By Kaitlyn Rosenburg First Look / Places / Victoria Sep 8, 2014 First Look: The Duke Saloon SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestThe Victoria entertainment scene typically presents two options: the pub/restaurant hybrid, or a nightclub packed with sweaty bodies and loud music. For a city with a substantial tourist and student population, these choices make sense. But what about the rest of us?The Duke Saloon opened their doors late August and have already found success as Victoria’s first country bar. Despite my city surroundings I have many country music memories, as growing up in Chilliwack, BC meant no high school dance was complete until “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” was played.Joel Friesen“I don’t know if anyone was asking for a country bar. It came from a personal desire. I’ve always been a country fan,” says owner Joel Friesen, who introduced country to Victoria back in 2009 when he took over Upstairs Cabaret. He finally had the opportunity to plan his own events. “I could do whatever I wanted and I said ‘Screw it, I want a night for myself.’” “Let’s be a trailblazer in Victoria”Upstairs hosted a country night every three months, which eventually became every month. By June 2012, people were lining up to get in. “It was an epic night. I was throwing money into the crowd. Since then, we’ve always had massive lineups,” says Friesen. It took two more years to realize his dream and find a space. The Duke has found a home on Discovery Street. Outdated flooring has been replaced with polished concrete, two bars sport vintage reclaimed ceiling tiles and Phillips Brewery has supplied their version of bar tables, beer casks.“Let’s be a trailblazer in Victoria,” says Friesen, “We’re a total word of mouth city. If you do something with passion, everyone appreciates it.”Hoyne, Phillips, Driftwood, Lighthouse, and Red Truck Brewery from Vancouver are all on tap and always available. Beer Hall Thursdays include sleeves for $4.75 and a DJ taking requests all night.While Duke’s doesn’t serve food yet, they have expansion plans that include a kitchen. For now, they offer honey chipotle and maple pepper cured bacon, made in-house at Darcy’s Westshore.They’ve also partnered with local East Sooke food truck The Traveling Smokeshow, who setup across the street in the Captial Iron parking lot. Chef Ash Lenick serves up pulled pork sandwiches and Friesen’s personal favourite, salami fries.The menu changes nightly, but always includes a pork belly sandwich and fried chickpea fritters.For those who’ve never pulled on a pair of cowboy boots, The Duke features live music three nights a week. Fridays the Tumblin’ Dice take the stage, Saturdays belong to the husband and wife duo Bucko & Toad, and Shotgun Bourbon close out the week on Sunday.As for the name, Friesen gives a friend full credit. “We were sitting on the dock at Shawnigan Lake and just started listing names. Big Reds. The Red Pony. Then he said ‘What about Duke’s?’ I immediately thought of Dukes of Hazzard.” There was no looking back. The Duke Saloon is currently open four nights a week, Thursday through Sunday, till 2 a.m.FacebookTwitterInstagrambarBourbonclubdukedukesjim beamsaloon SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Kaitlyn Rosenburg Kaitlyn Rosenburg holds a BFA in creative writing with a minor in journalism and publishing from the University of Victoria. Her work has appeared in local publications such as The Martlet, as well as national publications like ... Read More You may also like Beer / Beer & Cider / Drink / First Look / Places / Press Release / Wineries & Breweries July 25, 2019 There’s a New Buoy in Town Whistle Buoy Brewing Company, a locally owned craft brewery and taproom, is now open in Historic Market Square, Victoria. Whistle Buoy Brewing ... Read More First Look / Regions / Restaurants March 1, 2019 The Buzz, Cowichan and Up-Island Eating together and enjoying the good life with good people is the epitome of ‘Hygge’, the Danish word pronounced ‘Huega’. ... Read More First Look / Restaurants / Victoria January 3, 2018 Pierogi Power at Sült Pierogi Bar “Sült” has etymological roots across Europe. In Gaelic, it refers to pork fat or a dish made of it. In Hungarian, it translates to “fried” ... Read More First Look December 8, 2017 Stoked Wood Fired Pizzeria Stoked Wood Fired Pizzeria, 2908 Tieulie Place, Shirley, BC, 778-528-3473, stokedwoodfiredpizzeria.com For surfers, still chilled to the ... Read More First Look / Food People October 31, 2017 Adapt to Survive – The team behind Foo finds opportunity at Victoria’s hospitality crossroads. It’s not breaking news: Victoria’s restaurant scene is in the midst of varying states of crisis, depending on which Industry Insider you speak ... Read More First Look / Victoria October 16, 2017 Kuma Noodle Japan When many people think of Japanese food, they think of sushi. However, to the Japanese, the raw fish delicacy is often considered a rare treat, ... Read More Comments are closed.