Council rejects late closing for Citta’s 

Council is not supporting an application by Citta’s Bistro to keep their taps flowing until 2 a.m. which was made as part of the new provincial liquor regulations.

But they approved a request from the bar to open two hours earlier to serve the breakfast crowd.

Citta’s General Manager Colin Pyne said he was pleased with the recommendation to open at 9 a.m. As for the extended night hours he said they’ll just have to be patient and wait it out.

"We wish to be open until 2 a.m. There’s a demand to serve at that time," he said.

"There’s more business to do and we’d love to do it."

For now he says they’ll just bide their time.

The busy neighbourhood bar filed an application for extended hours with the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch in late December last year.

Though the LCLB has final approval, the process for getting hour extensions includes local government and their concerns about noise and impact on the community are taken into account.

Councillor Ken Melamed said he didn’t want council to embrace this trend of later hours, particularly in light of Vancouver bars extending their hours to 4 a.m. earlier this month.

Whistler can’t satisfy everyone and it shouldn’t strive to accommodate everyone.

"We’re a tourist recreation oriented resort...we should be stepping up to accommodate this," he said.

"It contradicts the recreation-based orientation of the resort."

Most other councillors agreed.

Only Councillor Marianne Wade supported the 2 a.m. closing, calling on council to allow for a temporary extension to test the waters.

"This venue has a good clean track record," she said.

Senior Planner Mike Kirkegaard highlighted some of staff’s concerns about extending the hours, particularly the impact on police patrols that deal with crowds.

Though the impact on policing may be negligible with a one-hour extension at Citta’s, it could set a precedent for other bars looking for longer hours.

A number of bars like the GLC have also put in applications of their own.

"They haven’t approved anything so far so it doesn’t appear to me that they’re going to be approving anything too soon," said Paul Street, general manager of Whistler-Blackcomb bars including the GLC.

"Until they’re comfortable extending any licenses...we’re willing to wait it out."

Administrator Jim Godfrey said staff is in the process of developing a policy to deal with the bar extension and it will be coming before council in the near future.

In the meantime council’s recommendation on Citta’s will be forwarded to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch for the final decision.

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