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Who wants to buy a floating B.C. pub, designated ferry driver included?

Nanaimo's Dinghy Dock Pub goes on the market for $4.8 million

Anyone with $4.8 million at their disposal can buy a popular local watering hole, a residence on a beautiful piece of island property and a really short commute to work. 

The Dinghy Dock Pub – Canada's only floating pub – on Protection Island has come up for sale, along with a "stunning waterfront home" and ferry service that carries patrons and the island's residents to and from downtown Nanaimo.

A listing from Richmond-based Luxmore Realty describes the property as a "turn-key package" with a "thriving pub set against a scenic bay backdrop, frequented by locals and tourists for its beer, seafood and live music." 

The 2,655-square-foot home, located directly behind the pub, is listed as having four bedrooms, five baths, a spacious living area, air conditioning, views of Nanaimo Harbour and "meticulous landscaping."

The Dinghy Dock Pub has been in operation since 1989. It was last sold in October 2019 for $2.6 million by then owners John and Cheryl Logan, with a commitment from the subsequent owner to maintain the pub's operation. The pub, property and water taxi business previously sold in 2004 for $1.6 million.

According to the pub's website, the Dinghy Dock was originally intended to function as a marina that included a store, bait shop and showers and patrons would order drinks and food through "a hole in the kitchen wall." 

The business has expanded three times over the years to include patios, a bigger kitchen and a family area which included a hole in the pub's floor where children could drop a line and try their luck at catching fish. The docks have been upgraded too – from small docks low to the water to accommodate local kayakers and patrons in dinghies – and can now handle watercraft up to 50 feet in length along with the kayaks and dinghies.  

"We have enjoyed our time here immensely and have learned a lot including how to stay 'afloat' even during a pandemic," said Rachel Hao, pub owner, in an e-mail. "The Dinghy Dock has been loved by locals and tourists alike since 1989 and we hope it continues its presence as an iconic Nanaimo attraction."

Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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