The Granville Strip in downtown will be getting more patios, live music, and extended entertainment hours thanks to updates to the City of Vancouver’s liquor policy.
On Wednesday afternoon, the City of Vancouver announced that it has enacted a series of bylaws to support local businesses and arts and cultural organizations.
The municipal government says that restaurants that are operated by existing “good operators” will now be granted regular hours of liquor service without having to complete a three-month probationary review.
Bars in the Granville Entertainment District (GED) will be permitted to apply for licensed outdoor patios, and this will be reviewed by the City on a case-by-case basis.
The City says that of the 21 liquor establishments in the GED, between six to 10 will meet the current patio requirements.
In order to support local arts and entertainment initiatives and spaces, a new liquor business licence will permit arts and cultural non-profit organizations, art dealers, and galleries to sell and serve alcohol to their patrons during regular business hours, up until 11 pm.
An amendment to the noise bylaw will allow food and liquor establishments to play live music until 1 am.
The City has also taken steps to increase safety and security in the GED.
A “Nightlife Council” will be created in order to “foster a healthy and active nightlife and economy by combining safety, security, transportation, economic development and vibrant street life.”
The City wants to ensure patrons will be more knowledgeable about the amount of alcohol they are consuming in order to make safer and smarter choices.
Liquor establishments will be required to publish drink sizes and strengths. Businesses will be able to choose how they make this information available and they will have three months to complete this requirement. Vancouver is the first municipality in BC to put this policy into practice.
City Council has approved updates to the municipal Liquor Policy, enacting a series of bylaws to support local businesses, promote public health, & better align with provincial regulations #vanpoli pic.twitter.com/3HxXRWJx55
— Van Mayor’s Office (@VanMayorsOffice) May 2, 2018
The City is also pursuing more funding to establish a permanent Good Night Out program in order to establish a safer nightlife environment, particularly for women and members of the LGBTTQ2+ community.
Additionally, City Council endorsed the possibility of increasing fines for fighting and physical violence, in partnership with the Vancouver Police Department.
“I’m grateful that Council took action to modernize our Liquor Policy and make the Granville Entertainment District safer and more diverse, with more patios and live music later into the night,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, in a release.
“I’m optimistic that creating a Nightlife Council, supporting the Good Night Out program and boosting nighttime arts and culture will make the GED and the whole city safer and more vibrant.”
Earlier this year, City Council approved a plan to explore implementing safety measures such as the re-installation of CCTV cameras along the strip, but this option has since been axed from consideration.