Nightlife promoter Pedro Serra, who grew up in Surrey and operates Soulgood Events in Vancouver, has been hired to bring “After Dark” events to bars in the Joseph Richard Group chain. (submitted photo)

‘JRG After Dark’ nightlife events ramped up by Surrey-raised promoter

Former video-game champ Pedro Serra works his way back to bars in the ’burbs

A Surrey-raised events promoter has been given the job of adding nightlife to the ever-expanding Joseph Richard Group (JRG) chain of bars and pubs.

Pedro Serra has partnered to bring a “JRG After Dark” brand to the company’s Fraser Valley establishments, which include The Henry in Cloverdale, Edith + Arthur in Fleetwood, Oceanside in White Rock and several Townhall locations.

Serra is an award-winning co-founder of Soulgood Events, one of Vancouver’s top nightlife event producers.

“We’re going to elevate late nights at our pubs,” Pedro stated. “I’m excited for what we can do in the ‘burbs, it’s going to be fun.”

JRG, founded in 2002 by Surrey-raised friends Andre ‘Joseph’ Bourque and Ryan ‘Richard’ Moreno, includes 21 public houses, restaurants and liquor retail outlets in B.C. and Alberta.

Moreno said the addition of Serra to the JRG team (as Creative & Entertainment Director) will add a new dynamic to its late-night events, starting this weekend.

“Pedro is the best in the business at what he does,” Moreno stated. “People follow him to see what is happening around town and where to go for a good party. We’ve had a long history with Pedro so we’re very excited to have him as a part of our team and throwing some of the best late-night events in our establishments.”

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO, FROM 2016)

A new website, JRGAD.com, was launched May 3 to highlight the new brand and revamped late-night events, which include “Bae Side Fridays” at Oceanside (launching Friday, May 18) and “The Adventures of Saturdays” at the Henry (May 19 start).

“JRG After Dark offers exciting weekly events including live music, karaoke, DJs and awesome themed parties,” says a post on the website.

In conversation with the Now-Leader, Serra said Oceanside, the Henry and Langley’s Oak & Thorne are the first three JRG bars given the “After Dark” treatment, followed by Townhall bars.

“We’re revamping the late-night component of the business at our locations,” he said. “There’ll be great nights featuring some of the Lower Mainland’s best DJs, from all over the city, along with setting up a number of special events, such as Oktoberfest — that’s something we’re looking at doing — and long-table dinners, and special Halloween and New Year’s celebrations, a whole bunch of stuff.”

Serra was raised in Surrey for the majority of his years, “so my background is in that area,” he said.

“As events go, I did start out in the suburbs, and my relationship with Ryan (Moreno) extends to one of his first places, the Standard in New Westminster. My main focus over the past few years has been downtown (Vancouver).”

As a teen, Serra walked the hallways of North Surrey Secondary.

“I was even a newspaper boy for Surrey Now for many years,” he said with a laugh. “The first time I was ever interviewed was by the Leader, I think, and I was 12 years old, actually, after I won a video-game competition. That was in 1993, after the Blockbuster World Video Game Championships.… I was the highest scorer in Canada for Sega Genesis, so I got an all-expenses-paid trip to Florida to play in the worlds competition. That was my first moment of fame,” he added with a laugh.

“I definitely have a lot of roots in Surrey, and my parents still live there, and I have a soft spot for Surrey. Even though I don’t live there, I’m always there.”

Other events planned at JRG bars include “The Hank Fridays” (grand-opening at the Henry on May 25, 9 p.m. start), “Yachty Saturdays” at Oceanside (May 26 launch), a new weekend “refresh” called “The Weeknd’s” at select Townhall locations (June 1-2 launch) and a new Thursday promo at Oak & Thorne featuring free game play on all arcade machines (June 7 launch).

More info and free guest-list privileges are available at jrgad.com.

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