City supports liquor licence for Char’s Landing

Port Alberni city council voted unanimously to support the province issuing a primary liquor licence to Char’s Landing on Argyle Street.

The liquor licence approval will now be sent back to the province for a final approval.

“I’ve been here for four years and I’m, wow,” owner Charlene Patterson said. “We have built it and they have come.”

Patterson has transformed the former Salvation Army Church building into an arts and entertainment venue that anchors the Rotary Arts District.

A city council report notes that it has a capacity of 145 people. The report recommended that alcohol be served until 11 p.m. weekdays, and that liquor be served until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

The facility hosts arts, entertainment, concerts and lectures. Adding a liquor license would grow out the business by making Char’s Landing a place to go for an afternoon cocktail. While there are other drinking establishments nearby Char’s would service a different clientele.

“Addition of liquor service to this upscale entertainment/social venue would provide an attractive social gathering place in the uptown for local residents and visitors to enjoy,” the report noted.

This is Patterson’s second attempt to obtain a primary liquor license. The province turned down her first request in 2013 because Char’s Landing didn’t meet the requirements to be considered a restaurant.

The city received 56 written responses in response to Char’s application. Forty nine were in support of the application; seven were against it. Concerns of those opposed ranged from noise and the patio to live performances.

A letter from the building manager of a 41-unit apartment building across the street from Char’s was of most concern, Patterson said.

With respect to the noise concerns, Patterson said she moved heavy metal concerts to the Gyro Youth Centre. The summer block party has already been endorsed by council but Patterson is still considering scaling back the end time to midnight, she said.

Coun. Cindy Solda asked Patterson what would happen to the liquor license if she sold the establishment.

Patterson replied that she can either sell the license to another venue or sell the building. If she sold the building then the application process would start all over again for the new owner. She also has the option of retiring the license, she said.




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