Liquor selling establishments in Williams Lake, such as Oliver’s Street Bar and Grill, can apply to temporarily expand their service areas due to COVID-19 restrictions through the Liquor Control and Regulation Branch. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake approves temporary liquor establishment area expansions due to COVID-19

Liquor Control and Regulation Branch issues application process for interested businesses

City council has given the OK for liquor establishments who may apply in Williams Lake to expand their service area footprint until Oct. 31, 2020, something that is being considered across B.C. due COVID-19 restrictions.

“It will expedite businesses being able to modify their plans should they choose to,” said Beth Veenkamp, the City’s economic development officer during the regular meeting Tuesday, June 2.

“I don’t know how many people in the city are going to take up this opportunity, I know of one for sure, and I have been in touch with other restaurants in town that are considering it as an option.”

Veenkamp noted in a report to council it will be the responsibility of the licensee to ensure they abide by all local bylaws.

She will be available to assist businesses with their applications and work with development services on expansion plans that may impact publicly owned spaces like parking lots or sidewalks.

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Oliver’s Street Bar and Grill is entertaining the idea of doing an additional patio, but at this point they are able to maintain their restricted COVID-19 capacity while allocating designated tables for physical distancing requirements, said Corey Evjen, who co-own the business with his father.

“We are happy to be open and having guests coming in and enjoying our space again, we did some renovations while we were closed,” Evjen added.

Mayor Walt Cobb said there was a letter circulating from another community asking the Liquor Control Branch to relax the rules temporarily.

“Right now the government regulations say if you are changing the seating it has to be permanent, where this will allow it to be during the COVID situation.”


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