The time has come for Smugglers Cove Pub to expand the patio and add a few tables.
The popular establishment has a small patio compared to the region’s busier saloons. In Cadboro Bay, there is no better place to catch up on local gossip than Smugglers, especially Friday afternoons, where locals gather to strategize such municipal conquests as derelict boat removals and secession from Saanich.
In all seriousness, demand for the bar would easily make a 10-seat patio expansion reasonable. However, it will come at the cost of a few parking spots, which will require a variance approval from Saanich council (because it’s a pub most additions need council approval).
Owner and operator Brian Dunn has submitted the application to Saanich Planning this week and it will be months, hopefully only four months, before it comes to council, he said.
Considering the walkable nature of the pub, which is nestled at 2581 Penrhyn St. behind the Caddy Bay Village strip mall, Smugglers is ripe for a patio expansion at the expense of a few parking spots, said Dunn.
“Our downstairs area is licensed for five people, but we have groups that want to meet down there, and we could accommodate up to 15 people, which is what we’re asking for,” Dunn said.
It would make the elevator-free pub much more accessible to those with limited mobility, Dunn added. The renos also include an upgrade to the wheelchair-accessible washroom on the ground floor.
The parking variance would allow one space per five seats, rather than one per three, which is what is called for under the current licence.
The patio expansion would make room for 10 more seats, seasonal only, with a retractable fabric roof.
Dunn is also looking to shift the hours to an 11 a.m. opening and 11:30 p.m. closing, seven days a week.
Currently the hours are Monday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday until midnight and Sunday 11 a.m. to midnight.
Smugglers Cove will host a pair of open houses, Saturday, Aug. 19 and Saturday, Aug. 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.