If adversity really does make you stronger, Kevin and Shawna Walker must be heavy lifters by now. Their project to rebuild the Oak Bay Beach Hotel has endured six years of challenges and left a gap in the Beach Drive landscape for the last two years that still wounds passersby who loved the old hotel. First came the public outrage, then the detailed and lengthy municipal scrutiny. Then came the setback of having the first design rejected, followed by the setback of a global economic crisis in which housing prices plummeted and investors went into hiding.
With the opening of the Bard & Banker Pub last summer, Matt MacNeil had painted the last panel in his triptych of Victoria-area watering holes.