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City staff propose changes to Vancouver’s liquor policies

Click to play video: 'Vancouver considering changes to liquor rules' Vancouver considering changes to liquor rules
Fri, Jun 9: The City of Vancouver is considering changes to its liquor policy that would allow breweries to stay open later, but would put some restrictions on bars along the Granville strip. John Hua reports – Jun 9, 2017

The City of Vancouver is considering a number of changes to their liquor policy that could change people’s night out.

While beer connoisseurs in Vancouver may get an extra hour of drinking at their favourite brewery tasting room, clubs in the Granville entertainment district may be subjected to a ‘last entry hour’.

Currently the city’s liquor laws have breweries making their ‘last call’ at 11 p.m. and by 11:30 p.m., all the drinks have to be off the table.

“It’s hardly late, you know, and then they kind of just have to break up whatever good time they’re having and move on,” Brad Bannon with the Faculty Brewing Company told Global News.

READ MORE: New B.C. liquor laws come into effect today

But a liquor policy review by Vancouver city staff may change that and let brewery tasting rooms stay open until midnight.

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City staff have put forward 32 recommendations that are aimed at protecting health and safety, fostering creativity and community connection and ensuring an effective and efficient framework.

Along with extending the hours at brewery tasting rooms and adding a ‘last entry hour’ in clubs along Granville Street, the key recommendations also ask for allowing arts and culture establishments like galleries to sell alcohol and expand outdoor patio seating.

“We really see it as an opportunity to support our local arts and culture scene and the different art galleries and establishments like that, that are trying to stay open and afloat,” Vancouver Licensing Director Kathryn Holm said.

The city is also asking for no additional liquor stores in the Downtown Eastside (DTES).

WATCH: The B.C. government opens the door for more businesses to serve alcohol. As Keith Baldrey reports, that means your drinking options are being expanded well beyond bars and restaurants.

Click to play video: 'A beer at the barber’s or bookstore?  New booze rules announced for B.C.' A beer at the barber’s or bookstore? New booze rules announced for B.C.
A beer at the barber’s or bookstore? New booze rules announced for B.C – Nov 16, 2016

While the city’s trying to boost one part of the industry, it’s also trying to calm another on the Granville entertainment strip with the ‘last entry hour’; which would prohibit clubs and bars along the street from letting in any new patrons within a hour of closing.

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“It’s an attempt to try and manage the violent incidents that are happening as a result of the late night sidewalk queues from a mass exodus of patrons,” Holm explained.

While it’s a plan that works in places like Australia, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (BIA) says that’s not the stem of the problem.

“We think that the problem is not inherent with the operators themselves, it’s what’s occurring on the streets with the public consumption of alcohol,” Charles Gauthier with the Downtown Vancouver BIA said.

Instead, the BIA is looking to present an alternative solution.

~ with files from John Hua

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