View Royal pub plans to market happy hour

Pub patrons have a lot more options with new provincial regulations in effect

Courtney Price

Courtney Price

Happy pub patrons might get a little happier.

Revisions to B.C. liquor laws now allow promotional alcohol pricing including happy hour, let minors accompany adults into pubs, and allow alcohol sales in grocery stores and farmers markets.

Six Mile Pub owner David Wong said the changes are a welcome relaxation of the regulations that will help his small business attract more customers, especially during traditionally quieter times.

“I think it offers us an opportunity to use it as a tool to build business during slower periods of the day. Every restaurant has a mid-afternoon and late evening where there is a bit of a lull,” he said. “Rather than have staff standing around let’s keep everyone busy. It gives us flexibility and lower prices during slower times and offers a deal for the consumer. It is a win-win for all.”

The changes do have what some may see as disadvantages however, with the traditionally cost-effective pitchers of beer now subject to a 25-cent-per-ounce minimum charge. That effectively raises the price of pitchers on average instead of reducing them.

That, Wong said, would just even the playing field between establishments that lower their prices too much and those that do not. He envisions happy hour as an opportunity to offer cheaper drinks, but plans to only showcase local products during the 3 to 6 p.m. time slot, as a way to introduce his customers to new options.

“It is not an opportunity to say ‘let’s have a happy hour, have it crazy cheap and drink till you pass out. That is not the opportunity I see.”

While the idea of happy hour is attracting a lot of interest from some of his clients, he said the rule change he is most excited about doesn’t have anything to do with liquor prices at all. It is the rule that will now allow minors into into his pub.

“We are still careful to preserve the whole pub concept, because a lot of adults want to go away from their kids,” he said. “I also don’t want kids where people are talking loud or swearing.

Wong has renovated an area in the pub to provide an option for families to go to be separated from adult conversation.

Wong said the View Royal neighbourhood his pub is located in once was popular with young couples getting into their first homes. Today he sees swing sets and tricycles in the back yards. He hopes to get those clients back while balancing the atmosphere his customers have come to enjoy for years.

“It is a huge positive into this community. A lot of the people we serve here have always wanted to bring their kids, especially during Sunday brunch and we haven’t been able to serve them,” Wong said.

“We have always wanted to serve the junior members of the community and we are happy to be able to do that.”

The B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association issued a statement reminding its members that the new rules also allow customers to carry a drink from a lounge to an adjoining restaurant. Licensees are also allowed to transfer small amounts of stock from one to the other if they run out of a particular product.

In a policy directive to industry associations, local governments and police agencies, the government’s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch says the lower price may be applied selectively for “ladies night” specials or “team night” for players in uniform.

Among the 73 endorsed changes to B.C.’s liquor laws, 17 have now been implemented with more potentially on the way.

– with files from Tom Fletcher

alim@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside president Angus Macpherson visited the Wear2Start Society boutique in Victoria to present a cheque to the society’s vice-president Alessandra Ringstad (left) and president Angela Mangiacasale. (Courtesy of Wear2Start)
Rotary club donates over $11,000 to Greater Victoria non-profit for women

Wear2Start Society provides clothing for women in need

Adrienne Rogers (LPN) and Tracy McConnell (RN) on the Victoria Hospice Unit. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Hospice)
Victoria Hospice bereavement counsellors dealing with a tsunami of grief

Last year, Victoria Hospice provided end-of-life care to more than 1,000 people

Paddles sit stacked and ready at a rowing regatta on Elk Lake in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria junior girls rowing team nabs first in national Row to Tokyo challenge

Young Victoria City Rowing Club members row more than 2,250 km

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Funding boosts restoration efforts for Vancouver Island’s Garry oak ecosystems

Habitat Acquisition Trust will take on several Garry oak ecosystem restoration projects

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Most Read