Pool, bubble tea, karaoke

Carmen Weld - Sep 10, 2015 / 7:33 pm | Story: 147451


If you need a little liquid courage to take over a karaoke mic, this may not be the place for you – but it does have video games, pool, bubble tea and the chance to sing your heart out.

HQ49 has opened its doors in Rutland.

“HQ49 is an all-ages family place,” says 25-year-old Chun Li ,who co-owns the business with his brother. “We really felt that, within the Rutland area especially, we needed a more positive image and a better hangout place that is easy access, where you don't have to worry about affordability or safety issues. Just go in there, have fun and meet up.”

While the thought of a sober karaoke party might make some adults shudder, Li wants the business to be kid friendly.

“A liquor licence is not what we wanted to do. We wanted to be there for the families and for the kids," he says.

Bubble tea is the closest thing to a meal on the menu, but Li encourages guests to support neighbourhood restaurants and bring their food over.

Each karaoke room is private, which allows groups of friends or family to have their own singing parties.

Li was born and raised in Burnaby. A UBC Okanagan business graduate, he has called Kelowna home for seven years.

He feels he is one of few business owners willing to take on being a "hang out" place for youth.

HQ49 has been open for a while, but is holding its grand opening on Saturday, to coincide with the beginning of the school year. The event is also a fundraiser for the YMCA Cycle For Strong Kids campaign.

There will be three stationary bikes on site, and for every 10 minutes they are ridden, HQ49 will donate $3 to the YMCA – plus cyclists will get a free beverage. There is also a grand prize giveaway of 50-inch TV.



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