Pinot with your pedicure? Effective immediately, spas, salons and barbershops are eligible to apply for a liquor licence from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC). The AGLC confirmed the change to Global News on Thursday after Finance Minister Joe Ceci tweeted the situation had been “resolved.”
“We are always working with industry to see how we can modernize policies to meet new and emerging business opportunities,” Michelle Hynes-Dawson said in an emailed statement. “We have heard from a number of interested business people over the past couple of years who were in support of this change.”
Leading the charge was Lisa Maric, owner of Distilled Beauty Bar & Social House. Her business in the Marda Loop neighbourhood of Calgary is part salon, part bar, part coffee house.
She received a liquor licence from the AGLC before opening her doors in January 2017 – and it was renewed this past January – before finding out in late February that the licence had been issued in error.
LISTEN: Lisa Maric speaks with Global News Radio 770 CHQR host Rob Breakenridge
Maric said Ceci called her Thursday morning to let her know about the changes to the licence rules and she was immediately, “pretty excited and overwhelmed” that her business – and her supporters – were so crucial in making a major change.
“If you were close to Distilled this morning, you would have heard a ‘Woohoo!’” Maric laughed. “My staff was high-fiving all around. We were pretty excited.”
It’s welcome news for Calgary’s Bike and Brew. The business is trying to break into the booze business.
The shop is a mixed-use retail shop, servicing and selling bikes but also doubling as a café.
According to Covert, the shop had applied several times for a liquor licence for the café side but had been denied by the AGLC.
“Some of the reasons had been that we are a mixed-use business, being that we are a retail shop that also has a café in it,” he said.
“The AGLC is a little unsure of what to do when you have two mixed uses because generally you’re a retail or you’re a bar or restaurant and we are trying to combine the two,” he said.
LISTEN: Licensed salon owner Craig Boa joins 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen
Covert said he was excited about the news on Thursday, hoping the government will continue expanding to other types of mixed-use businesses.
Like a restaurant or a bar, any salon, spa or barbershop would have to apply for what’s known as a class B licence.
“This is not a new type of licence, so the process is existing and well-established,” Hynes-Dawson said.
The applicant must meet a number of requirements, like offering esthetic services, meeting municipal safety codes, offering hot or cold food and ensuring staff members serving liquor have completed the ProServe training certification.