MEDIA RELEASE: Expanded Craft Liquor Patios Coming Soon In Port Coquitlam
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – April 23, 2021… More patio seats are coming soon to Port Coquitlam’s craft breweries and distilleries.
On Tuesday, the City’s Committee of Council supported a proposal to allow liquor manufacturers with lounges to expand their patios and shift more of their indoor seating capacity outside. The proposed zoning bylaw change will come before Council on April 27 for first two readings in time for patio season picking up and while the ban on indoor dining continues.
It also dovetails with the outdoor spaces program the City introduced last year to support struggling businesses, allowing them to use public rights-of-way such as streets, sidewalks and parking lots for uses such as patios, lineups and product displays.
“This is a common sense and straightforward change by the City that will be welcomed by our craft liquor businesses and residents, both now and beyond the pandemic,” Mayor Brad West said. “We are always looking for ways to support Port Coquitlam businesses. This is another example of where we’re cutting old, out of date arbitrary controls and ensuring our regulations make sense for our community.”
Port Coquitlam is home to six craft liquor businesses – Northpaw Brew Co., Taylight Brewing, Tinhouse Brewing, Patina Brewing, PoCo Brothers Brewery and Provincial Spirits – with Boardwalk Brewing set to open this year in the Fremont area and an eighth business in the planning stages.
The existing sites with lounges, which have been operating temporary or permanent patios during the pandemic, have asked the City for more outdoor capacity to address high customer demand, meet physical distancing requirements, and justify the cost of improvements such as landscaping and weather protection.
The proposed bylaw change would remove the current patio size limit of 10 square metres (about 108 square feet) – a limitation that restaurants and other liquor establishments in the City do not have. And though it wouldn’t affect the existing 50-person cap in craft liquor lounges, it would allow some of that capacity to be moved outside when needed.
The move is the City’s latest boost for the craft liquor industry, starting in 2016 when the City first permitted liquor manufacturers to set up tasting lounges in industrial areas. In 2018 Council doubled the lounge seating capacity to 50 and relaxed parking limits (providing they didn’t impact neighbours), and last year extended the lounge closing times.
Each change has been welcomed by the businesses and customers, and caused no complaints from their neighbours in the industrial parks.
“It’s been heartening to see the enthusiasm for our outdoor space program from local businesses and their customers. We encourage more restaurants and businesses of all types to find innovative ways to take advantage of it this year.” Mayor Brad West said
The City’s continuing outdoor space program streamlines the application process with a “one-stop shop” for right-of-way encroachment permits, while waiving application, security and other permit fees until the end of 2021.
Businesses are also offered free in-kind services such as construction of temporary platforms or mobile structures on city property, reconfigured lane markings, revised parking restrictions or relocated infrastructure such as signs, planters, benches, waste containers.
City staff continue to work with businesses to provide advice about how they can meet the regulatory and insurance requirements. Interested businesses should contact the City’s Property Use Coordinator at email@example.com or 604-927-5266.
The changes are among a number of measures Port Coquitlam has taken to support local businesses and assist with the community’s recovery. For information, visit at portcoquitlam.ca/bizhub.
Additional Resources for Businesses
- Appointments for permits and online information: portcoquitlam.ca/bizhub
- Business resilience resources: portcoquitlam.ca/businessep
- Federal and provincial business resources: links at portcoquitlam.ca/covid19
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