Chateau’s Mallard Bar gets more seats, sort of 

The Chateau Whistler’s Mallard Bar is going through some significant changes on paper, but the upscale lounge is not changing in style.

The Mallard Bar was officially an A licensed pub, with a capacity of 82 seats. But in 1999 management of the hotel requested their licence be changed to an A lounge and licensed capacity be increased to 150 seats.

The changes were supported by the Whistler Liquor Licence Advisory Committee and council that year.

But when the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch reviewed the application they found the renovated Mallard was too large for the 150 seats. In another uniquely British Columbian law, provincial regulations state that each patron is allowed a maximum of 20.45 square feet in a licensed establishment. The new Mallard, it turns out, had the capacity for 205 seats.

Moreover, provincial authorities said the hotel must either apply to licence 205 seats or reduce the size of the lounge.

Chateau Whistler management protested that they don’t want 205 seats in the Mallard, and that the high-back chairs and leather sofas which take up so much space are part of the atmosphere. Furniture plans for the lounge show seating for 142.

However, rules are rules. The application for 205 seats was made. Whistler council supported the application Monday, which included 64 licensed seats on the patio. The patio seats will be deducted from the lounge seat total when the patio is operational.

In supporting the application Mayor Hugh O’Reilly said: "I think the day they take out the leather chairs and put in bench seats the Chateau will have changed from what it is meant to be."

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