Dear Mayor Helps and Council,
With regards to the Application for a Change of Hours for Liquor Service for a Food Primary Liquor Application at 1245 Wharf Street, JR Slims, the DRA Land Use Committee understands the following:
The current hours are from 9AM to 12AM daily with an occupant load of 178 people that includes a 38-person patio.
The proposed hours of licenced service are from 10AM to 2AM daily with the same occupancy indoors and on the patio seating area.
Feedback in response to the submitted application is as follows:
There does not seem to be any impediment to this application. That said the steady trickle of applications for extended hours does seem to be a sort of chase to the bottom. It is not clear that Victoria should aim to be the late-night destination for the region; aspiring to become another city that never sleeps may not be compatible with maintaining a liveable downtown residential neighbourhood.
If the kitchen will be open until 2AM, with a full menu of food options, I would still hesitate supporting this application. It seems we are seeing more and more late night liquor service concentrated in a small area. This operation is located at the base of Yates Street, which I understand already places heavy demands on the community and police services, so I have misgivings on potentially having more people, fuelled by alcohol, pouring out onto Yates Street at 2AM, adding greater noise and nuisance in the immediate neighbourhood.
I do not think there is much residential if any nearby. If that is so, no objection.
In absence of the long-anticipated Municipal Alcohol Policy, the LUC developed and the DRA Board ratified the DRA Policy for Liquor Primary & Late Night Food Primary Liquor Licences in February 2020 (attached below). All liquor applications are reviewed on the basis of relevant policy items in addition to any input from the public.
LUC members have expressed a measure of concern regarding this application and we have not received any communication expressing concerns by members of the community.
DRA LUC members strongly support a vibrant community and remain concerned about the increasing number and concentration of late night liquor primary seats in the Downtown.
Land Use Committee, Downtown Residents Association