A request by The Cabin to extend its liquor license to a proposed new patio was supported by Revelstoke council, despite opposition from neighbours.
The decision came after a discussion by council whether or not to restrict patio hours to 11 p.m.
However, council voted not to do so because other patios in town don’t face the same restrictions. “I wouldn’t be interested in muddying the waters at all about what time a patio can close,” said councillor Trevor English. “Its the onus of the business that after 11, the noise level dials down.”
The Cabin is planning on building a patio at the corner of First Street and Orton Avenue, and extending their liquor license to include the entire building other than the retail store. Currently only the bar and bowling area are licensed.
They also plan to renovate the interior of the building by removing the wall that currently separates the bar from the lobby. The renovation would improve the sightlines between the bar and the patio, the owners of The Cabin say.
The current capacity – 93 people – would remain unchanged.
The Cabin’s request was met with opposition from neighbours. Of six that replied, five asked council not to support the application. Carol Prince wrote she was concerned about rowdy patrons since the Cabin doesn’t serve food. “When the Cabin is financially able to add food to their establishment, I would potentially support the application to expand outside.”
Fred Beruschi, owner of the neighbouring Regent Hotel, said he was concerned about noise disturbing his hotel guests, and the fact the business is for sale, which creates a big unknown.
Judy Lillace and Robert Lahue, who own the neighbouring building, said they were worried about drunk people damaging their building. Pulse Bootfitting, which is located next door to The Cabin, also expressed opposition. “I have had businesses next to bars in the past both in Canada and abroad and know first hand the disaster that ensues for neighbouring businesses,” wrote Kai Palkeinen and Kelly Hutcheson.
The only letter of support came from Brydon Roe, the owner of Everything Revelstoke, who said the patio “would be a great addition to a corner that has been in need of an upgrade for some time.”
At council last week, the debate was over the patio’s hour of operations. Mayor Mark McKee led a push to place a closing time of 11 p.m. “What I would say to the applicant is let’s start with that and if they feel they need to go later, they can apply for special occasion licenses,” he said.
Coun. Aaron Orlando asked about restrictions on other patios, to which city planner Dean Strachan replied he wasn’t sure if there were any. “I’m reluctant to set a time limit now because we don’t have information no what’s permitted elsewhere,” he said.
In the end, council defeated the motion to put a time restriction on the patio. The Cabin’s application still needs to be approved by the Liquor Control Board.