Although the province has the final say, it’s appearing as though residents in Comox can soon raise glasses of their favourite beverage at a variety of establishments throughout the town.
At the Sept. 5 council meeting, council formally approved comments for submission for three liquor licences to the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) - one is a change for an existing establishment and two are for new brewpubs in the town.
The first application was for the Comox Legion at 1825 Comox Ave., which is requesting to transition from a liquor primary-club licence to a liquor primary licence.
Currently, the legion is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and 11 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.
Coun. Hugh MacKinnon suggested altering the closing time to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. He said while last call happens at the set times, it doesn’t mean patrons will clear out of an establishment right away.
Coun. Russ Arnott said The Social Room, located a few blocks away at 146 Port August St., is open until midnight, and the town should have “an even playing field.”
Mayor Paul Ives added currently the legion is open later than the hours proposed by MacKinnon.
“I look at the legion as something that is trying to stay as a viable organization. They’ve been good neighbours and good citizens,” he noted.
Coun. Barbara Price explained she didn’t think the change in closing hours would be much of a problem, but it would give some reassurance to neighbours.
At the vote, the amendment was defeated.
Price suggested a second amendment changing the hours to close at midnight (from 1 a.m.) on Fridays and Saturdays, which was approved.
The second application review came from Land and Sea Brewing Company, a proposed 99-person brewpub located at 2040 Guthrie Road.
The proposed hours of liquor service is from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and a closing time of 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.
Coun. Maureen Swift raised parking as a possible issue, and Coun. Marg Grant inquired about wastewater from the brewery.
Town planner Marvin Kamenz noted the town bylaw sets limits to sewage, and the brewery is proposing same day pickup for spent grain.
Council voted unanimously for the application.
The final application review came from New Tradition Brewing Company located at 215 Port Augusta St. inside the Comox Centre Mall.
The proposal is for a 110-person capacity space including outdoor seating, with hours of liquor service from 9 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.
Council also voted unanimously to support the application.
Additionally, a liquor primary licence has been approved in principle for the Church Street Taphouse located at 215 Church Street. The 175-person taphouse will not brew beer onsite, and is proposed to be open from 10 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Council’s recommendations on the licences will be submitted to the LCRB general manager for approval.