Ron Slinger

For veteran publican Ron Slinger, what comes to the table has always been as important as what is poured in a pint glass or served on a plate.

Chatting with a close friend one day back in 1976, Dave Raht mentioned his friend was in the process of opening a neighbourhood pub in Coquitlam. Ron and Dave decided they wanted to open a neighbourhood pub in North Vancouver.

Ron is the “yes” man when it comes to new ventures, especially since this idea was close to his heart.  Slinger spent a significant amount of time in the UK as a young man, meeting his wife there, whose father was a publican in North Cave, Yorkshire at the White Hart.  Ron just knew this would be a great business opportunity.  Ron and Dave Raht jumped right in on the new adventure together to ultimately open the Queen’s Cross Neighbourhood Pub in North Vancouver. 

When they opened the Queen’s Cross in 1979 it was a new concept and there was a lot of hoops to jump through, more than they ever expected.  After only 30 days of starting this idea, they reached their financial point of no return. 3 years, after starting with the idea in 1976, they opened the new neighbourhood pub in the Upper Lonsdale area.

In 1996 they sold the Queen’s Cross and decided to do it again, now in Lynn Valley. In February of 1997, The Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub came roaring and growling into the neighbourhood.  The Black Bear is a freestanding craftsman’s style home, designed after the pioneer homes in the Lynn Valley area. 

The Pub has since won the North Shore News Favourite Neighbourhood Pub Award every year since it opened its doors, a record 27 years and counting! Ron Slinger has been awarded Publican of the Year twice. First time back in the 1980s and then again in 2017. Ron has also been the president of the Neighbourhood Pub Owners Association for 3 years. 

Back in ‘79, all Ron wished to do was get it right and survive. Now, nearly 45 years later, “well maybe we did things better than I thought we did!” As now I am being inducted in the category of Industry Pioneer in BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.  I am certainly honored!