Pubs seek changes to liquor licences

Victoria city council is supporting an application by the Beagle Pub to open one hour later on the weekend.

The pub in Cook Street Village seeks to stay open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. While the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch holds the power to approve or deny the application, city council can provide input into the decision.

"I think it's great to extend some of the opportunities for fun in the neighbourhoods rather than just downtown," said Coun. Marianne Alto.

Only Coun. Geoff Young voted against the motion.

"I was on council when neighbourhood pubs began," he said. "Their intention was always that they would be small and that their hours would be such that they would be compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood."

The city notified 50 immediate residential neighbours to the pub and five spoke against the extended hour.

In other drinking-establishment news, the Fort Street Cafe won council's blessing for dancing and other audience involvement.

The underground venue at 742 Fort St. is already known for its goofy Friday night trivia contests, but the owners are now seeking a liquor licence that formalizes this "patron participation" within its liquor licence.

Council's endorsement will add weight to their application to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.

"I strongly support this motion," said Coun. Ben Isitt.

"I think the nature of the activities the applicant has organized so far fill an important niche… They cater to residents who want to go out, but they engage on a different level than just drunkeness."

If approved, the Fort will join nine other establishments in Victoria with this licence, including Cafe Casablanca and Whitebird Lounge.

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