Local brewery seeks to expand outdoor seating area

Local brewery seeks to expand outdoor seating area

Smithers Brewing Company proposes a 13-metre by 4-metre patio in its parking lot

The Smithers Brewing Company (SBC) may soon be the first business in Smithers to take advantage of the Provinces’ new expedited approval process for temporary patio spaces.

The brewery proposes to build a 52 square-metre outdoor seating area in their parking lot to mitigate reduced capacity regulations introduced as part of the “B.C. Restart Plan.”

SBC had applied May 6 for a temporary use permit (TUP) from the Town, which was originally on council’s May 26 regular meeting agenda for approval.

“Granting us to do so would help SBC gain back lost revenue our business faced during the Covid-19 shutdown, integrate a rehiring process of our full staff and slowly stimulate the town of Smithers local economy,” said SBC’s Adin Bennett in a letter to council.

READ MORE: Restaurants grapple with reopening under new regulations

In the interim, however, working with CAO Alan Harris, they discovered a simpler process. The parking area, Bennett explained, was a separate parcel and had been subject to a parking covenant. But businesses in the downtown commercial zone are longer required to provide parking, so simply by amalgamating the property, SBC is free to expand with approval of B.C.’s Liquor Control and Regulation Branch (LCRB).

That approval should be quick in coming. The Province introduced a new policy May 22 allowing the LCRB to issue temporary expanded service area authorization (TESAA) to all food primary, liquor primary, and manufacturer licensees in the province. LCRB also streamlined approvals with an expedited online application process at no cost to the applicant.

“Increasing the size of existing service areas is expected to support licensees in complying with requirements under the Provincial Health Orders and recommendations, in particular with respect to social/physical distancing,” the policy states.

Despite what amounts to basically a blanket approval for outdoor service areas, applicants still need support from their municipalities.

At the May 26 meeting, council passed a motion to allow staff to provide a pre-approval letter covering all primary and manufacturer liquor licence holders in Smithers who want to apply for TESAAs.

For those businesses that will still require a Smithers temporary use permit to do so, the Town has also streamlined its process and waived fees. After receiving a request from restaurant and pub owners in town, council moved quickly at a special meeting May 13 to amend the Town’s highways bylaw to give the deputy mayor and CAO the authority to approve TUPs for patios.

READ MORE: Patios, landscaping plans create uncertainty for downtown businesses

As of May 29, no other restaurants or pubs had applied to the Town, said CAO Alan Harris, adding that one undisclosed business was thinking about using their parking lot, which would not require a permit from Smithers.

Carly McIntyre from Water Sushi said using parking spots on Main Street is an intriguing prospect, but sees a financial barrier.

“I think it would be really interesting to see what it would look like and if it would enhance the beauty of our Main Street,” she said. “But, I think it would cost more than what we have at this time.”

Rahilla Khan from Lalazar said they are also very interested in expanding their restaurant’s outdoor capacity.

Other restaurant owners contacted by The Interior News did not respond in time for press.

Bennett did not have a firm timeline for construction of the SBC patio saying it would depend on need and the weather. Prior to new capacity regulations, the brewpub was rated for 100 guests, now that is down to 50. He said with the existing patio space in front of their building and the proposed parking lot seating area, they will be able to bring that up to 86.

Both the Province’s and Town’s new policies expire Oct. 31.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

BC CDC graphic showing weekly numbers of new cases by local health area.
Local health area records 11 new COVID-19 cases from Feb. 21 to 27

The Northwest has become the COVID hotspot in the province

The Smithers recycling depot was destroyed by fire May 9, 2019. (Thom Barker photo)
Curbside recycling pickup returns to Smithers

The Town will start collecting single stream, loose and clean residential recyclables April 12

Adam's Igloo sustained serious damage when the roof collapsed. (Facebook photo)
Roof collapses on Smithers landmark

Cleanup efforts underway at Adams Igloo and Wildlife Museum

Instructor and master artist Dempsey Bob (right) speaks to the crowd at the Terrace Art Gallery about the importance of cultural art on Feb. 7, 2020. Bob is a recipient of a 2021 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts Artistic Achievement Award. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Northwest artist Dempsey Bob wins national art award

Renowned Tahltan-Tlingit master carver one of eight people to receive Governor General’s Arts Award

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Most Read