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Differing views on alcohol applications

A seniors’ centre in Brocklehurst will likely get the go-ahead from city council to begin serving alcohol, but a downtown club’s bid to expand its operations isn’t getting the same warm welcome.

Staff are encouraging council to deny an application from Cactus Jack’s Nightclub to increase its capacity to 625 from 495, including staff, citing concerns from Kamloops RCMP and the city’s social-planning council.

According to a report, the nightclub was served an overcapacity notice in April, when 611 people were inside the bar — though Cactus Jack’s is contesting the infraction.

Mounties are also concerned added capacity could put more people on the city streets during the bar-flush period and make it harder to clear out the downtown after hours.

Similar concerns were raised by the social-planning council.

However, both groups have indicated they may eventually be open to an expansion of Cactus Jack’s, provided the club can go a year without another licensing infraction.

Staff are also recommending the club look at a number of crowd-control measures, such as providing shuttles to Thompson Rivers University at closing, adding video surveillance and installing barricades at the edge of the sidewalk to keep patrons off the street.

But, in a letter to council, Cactus Jack’s owners said many of those requirements are already in place and called the bar-flush issue “to some extent irrelevant.”

The club owns the liquor licence for the defunct Rivers Night Club, which has a capacity of 250 people, and has offered to cancel that if the city agrees to its request.

That would reduce the potential number of people able to be served liquor in the downtown by 115.

Meanwhile, on the North Shore, a liquor-licence application from the Centre for Seniors Information is seeing more support from city staff.

The centre, located in the Brock Shopping Centre, is looking to become a licensed private club with a 110-person capacity so it can offer alcohol at special events.

Council is being advised to support the application, since there are already two pubs in the area and a growing number of seniors living in the neighbourhood.

 

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