(Oct. 21/09) Vancouver Council has extended the city’s food primary liquor license hours of operation to 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends, based on input from CRFA and the industry. This is a significant improvement over the current policy and is good news for most licensed Vancouver CRFA members.
In 2003, the City of Vancouver restricted food primary licenses to serve liquor no later than midnight while grandfathering roughly 200 licensees that had already received food primary liquor permits, enabling them to serve liquor until 2 a.m. Liquor primary licensees can serve up to 3 a.m.
Two years ago, the City of Vancouver initiated a review of its policy on food primary liquor license hours of operation. (While liquor licensing is under provincial jurisdiction, municipalities are allowed input into the licensing process.) During the lengthy review process, the City initially proposed dividing Vancouver into zones, allowing varying hours of operation in different parts of the city. In consultations, CRFA and the industry strongly opposed this complicated multi-zone approach and instead, advocated a level playing field with other neighbouring municipalities. Consequently, the City withdrew this proposal.
Following further consultations, with CRFA advocating a 2 a.m. food primary liquor service time and liquor primary stakeholders calling for the current 12 a.m. deadline, the City staff finally recommended an extension of food primary licenses to 1 a.m. on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends. Current 2 a.m. licensees would no longer be grandfathered. The City also recommended a $3.00/seat license surcharge to cover the cost of increased enforcement.
For more information, please contact Mark von Schellwitz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-685-9655.