The recently renovated Lighthouse is blessed with an unbeatable location, but its Island-inspired menu and quality entertainment lineup make it popular on all fronts.

Lighting up the harbour: 5 things you might not know about this Nanaimo icon

Renovated waterfront eatery blends top-notch music with locally sourced menu

Do you like the idea of enjoying a meal with locally sourced ingredients, sipping on a local craft beer, or listening to some of the hottest jazz on the mid-Island?

The newly renovated Lighthouse Bistro and Pub on Nanaimo’s downtown waterfront can tick all of those boxes for you. If you’re a longtime area resident, you’ll be familiar with the Lighthouse building, a harbour icon since 1985, before the popular Harbourfront Walkway was built.

But here’s some things you might not know about the new and improved version of the eatery:

1. Fresh flavours abound From the crab and other seafood harvested from local waters and delivered fresh by local fishermen, to the farm-fresh greens and root vegetables supplied through a partnership with the Farmship Growers Co-Op, the menus are created by Chef Jason Harbo with Lighthouse’s core belief of “fresh, local and sustainable” in mind.

2. Jazzing things up Music is a integral part of the Lighthouse. You can hear top-quality jazz on selected evenings in the pub, and a range of other styles on Fridays and Saturdays every weekend. If you like things funny, there’s live comedy every second Thursday!

3. Local brews and wines Craft beers from around the Island and wines from B.C. make up the majority of the adult beverages here, making it a popular place to stop in for a drink after your downtown activities.

4. Wooden you like to know? When the new owners undertook the renovations, they chose materials with a link to the area. The tabletops were built using wood recycled from the entranceway of the old Port Alberni high school, while the bar top was crafted by Live Edge Designs in Duncan, using locally sourced alder.

5. Sushi as a snack or meal The Lighthouse recently added sushi to its menu, with everything from appetizers to full rolls, sashimi and nigiri made fresh on demand.

The new Lighthouse has incorporated many changes that you’ll notice quickly, including the shedding of a previous image as a sports bar, says operations manager Thom McCann. But it’s still blessed with the same unbeatable location.

“From our windows, you’ll see everything from tugs, fishermen and yachts, to kids and people in kayaks, to planes taking off and landing,” he says.

The spectacular vistas of the ocean, the islands and maritime traffic may draw people to the Harbourfront Walkway, but the food, beverages and entertainment at the Lighthouse will keep you coming back to this spot.

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You can find the Lighthouse Bistro and Pub at 50 Anchor Way off Front Street downtown. You can also follow them on Facebook.

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