Patio drinks approved

Enjoying a meal and an alcoholic beverage on a downtown Vernon sidewalk could soon be reality.

City council has updated its policies to allow for liquor sales at sidewalk patios.

The goal is to encourage local residents and tourists to spend time downtown.

“There are a number of restaurants with patios and for someone to be able to have a glass of wine brings us into the 21st century,” said Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe.

“It will add some zip to our downtown.”

Council recently endorsed an application to the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch so the Naked Pig BBQ can serve alcohol within a sidewalk seating area when it opens on 30th Avenue.

The decision to change the bylaw came after consultation with the Downtown Vernon Association.

“While well-designed sidewalk patios can benefit business owners economically by expanding seating capacity and attract customers, patrons get to benefit from sitting outdoors to take full advantage of the region’s climate,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, the city’s communications co-ordinator.

Businesses wanting a sidewalk patio and the ability to serve liquor require a permit from the city.

“They must have an existing liquor licence and apply for an additional approval from the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch for the liquor service on the patio seating area,” said Cleo Corbett, long range planner.


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