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Open Houses to be held on bar capacities

As their reward for swallowing the province’s "streamlined" liquor licensing regulation, restaurant and bar owners around the province were allowed to submit applications to increase their interior licensed seating capacities to match the building occupancy numbers outlined in the fire code. Some establishments are also applying to have their patio seats exempted rather than deducted from their interior capacities.

The municipality is hosting an open house on May 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. in council chambers at municipal hall, to invite public input on the local applications. The general manager of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch makes the final decision on the applications, guided by the municipality’s recommendations, and public input must be taken into account before those recommendations can be made.

There are six license Whistler licence holders seeking capacity changes:

Longhorn Saloon and Grill – The Longhorn has applied to have its patio capacity of 170 seats exempted from their interior capacity.

Buffalo Bill’s Bar and Grill – Bill’s is seeking to increase interior capacity from 225 to 325 seats.

Hoz’s Pub – Hoz’s has applied to have its patio capacity of 22 seats exempted from their interior capacity.

Monk’s Grill – Monk’s is asking the same for 22 patio seats, and for their interior capacity to be increased from 88 to 95 seats.

Dubh Linn Gate Old Irish Pub – The Dubh Linn Gate has applied for 37 patio seats to be exempted.

Milestone’s Palomino Bar – Milestone’s is asking that their patio capacity of 22 seats be exempted from their interior capacity.

In total, 29 establishments in the municipality were eligible to apply for an increase, but only six establishments met the provincial and municipal application requirements.

B.C. winegrowers hometown proud

Two more wineries have become fully-licensed, voting member of the British Columbia Winegrowers Association, bring the total number of members to 38.

To qualify, a winery must produce wine solely from 100 per cent B.C. grapes or fruit.

The two new members are Thornhaven Estates Winery and Elephant Orchard Island, and both are located on the shores of Okanagan Lake.

Thornhaven Estates makes Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc on 8.5 acres of land.

Elephant Orchard Island specializes in wines made from every kind of fruit other than grapes, including cherries, apples, black currants, apricots, pears, and crab apples.

Labatt markets "Lager and Lime" for summer

For some strange reason – or by no reasoning at all – Labatt Breweries is introducing Lager & Lime for the summer season. With ciders and Mexican lagers taking a larger share of the patio during the summers, Lager and Lime is a "clean, crisp, refreshing 5 per cent alcohol beer with a hint of lime" that is available for the summer only.

Developed at the Labatt Technology Development Centre in London, Ontario, Lager & Lime follows a long list of beer innovations.

1999 – the introduction of Boomerang, a flavoured malt-based beverage that always comes back.

1993 – the creation of Ice Brewing technology and commercials with the blond terrorist from Die Hard.

"Labatt Lager & Lime is another great example of how Labatt is committed to delighting our consumers by bringing new and exciting products to market," said Labatt Breweries president Bruce Elliot.

Lager & Lime will be available across Canada and backed by aggressive advertising and promotion. Look for samples at a liquor store near you.

Study: "Fruity" alcohol lures teenagers to drink

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a U.S. advocacy group, lemonade and berry-flavoured malt drinks mask the taste of alcohol and are aimed at underage drinkers. Not only are they easier to drink, they are packaged in such a way as to attract teenagers: "bright, flashy and hip."

According to the same study, 80 per cent of teenagers can easily get "alco-pops."

The manufactures deny any wrong-doing, saying people over 21 have enjoyed wine coolers, ciders, and sweet wines for years.

Liberals support minimum wage hike

At first they were against it on the grounds that it hurts small business and could force businesses to downsize their staff. Now that the election is all but in the bag, however, the Liberals say they will stick to a NDP policy to raise the minimum wage to $8 an hour. The minimum wage was already increased from $7.15 an hour to $7.60, the highest in Canada.

Because single-parent families and minimum wage earners were already banking on the increase, effective this summer, the Liberals decided that it would be wise to honour the NDP initiative.

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