City officials say closure of Vancouver open-air bar is of their own doing

Sep 24 2022, 6:44 pm

After The Keefer Yard announced it would close because it couldn’t get a permit, the City says there’s more to the story.

The Keefer Yard announced in an Instagram post that they were “unsuccessful in landing the permit we needed to keep our doors open.”

While The Keefer Bar will remain open, the outdoor space with mini golf is set to close.


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A post shared by The Keefer Yard (@thekeeferyard)

According to Andrea Law, General Manager of Development, Buildings and Licensing, City staff had been working with the operator of The Keefer Yard since early 2021 on their application for a development permit for the covered patio.

“Staff raised early in the process that the temporary structure that has been erected on site does not comply with the City’s Building Bylaw,” the City said. “Senior City staff also met with the operator and the architect as recently as early September in the aim of finding solutions.”

A week ago, Vancouver Fire Rescue Services “conducted an inspection of the property and issued an order to discontinue cooking and use of space heaters in the temporary structure.”

According to the City, “those activities posed a serious and immediate risk of fire and the operator had previously been issued multiple notices of violation.”

The order to the Fire Chief pertained to the fire hazards only.So, The Keefer Yard had to comply with those requirements.

Once they complied, “they could have continued to operate the patio while pursuing a resolution of the Building Bylaw issues,” said the City.

For their part, the operators of the Keefer Yard said that they couldn’t get their tent permitted and that’s why they closed their doors.

“Yes, the fire inspector shut us down two Fridays ago but it wasn’t because (of) our heaters as we haven’t had our heaters on since they told us not to many months ago and the same with our kitchen, we used a deep fryer a while back outside under the tent and we never used it again. ”

“The issue they shut us down on Friday is because our permit expired, and it was still in review as we were working with the city to figure out a solution to have this tent permitted,” they said.

“Regardless of what is being said about the yard it was a long and exhausting road and we’re ready to walk away and move forward with something healthier and more sustainable,” operators told Daily Hive.

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