THAT Council, having considered the issues, concerns and relevant Council policy, as outlined in the report dated May 4, 2004 and titled “965 Granville Street – Luv-A-Fair Entertainment Inc., Liquor Primary License (Neighbourhood Pub)”, advises the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch it does not endorse the application by Luv-a-Fair Entertainment Inc. for a 65-seat with 20-seat patio Liquor Primary License (Neighbourhood Pub) in conjunction with the existing 333-seat Liquor Primary (Cabaret) at the Caprice, 965 Granville Street.

The General Manager, Community Services Group RECOMMENDS approval of the foregoing.

On January 30, 2001, Council adopted policy to not grant favourable consideration to future applications in the Granville Street Theatre Row Entertainment District until the current supported applications are either open and operating or withdrawn, the community and city resource impacts of the new establishments are evaluated and staff report these findings to Council with recommendations for the Entertainment District.

Presently, the Entertainment District, and the 900 block of Granville Street in particular, have far more seats and establishments than the original Council Liquor policy anticipated. It is likely that this expansion beyond the original policy and the implementation of later bar closing times (4 AM) have compounded the significant street and policing problems in the Entertainment District.

Staff also feel the following outside influences should be considered when Council makes a decision on this application:

1. The outstanding approval at 952 Granville Street;

2. The issues created from patron migration from other areas of the City and Lower Mainland to the Entertainment District; and

3. current police staffing levels.

The previous approval for 952 Granville appears to be proceeding and may be opening in the near future. This will add at least 200 more seats to the 900 block. The 900 block is already significantly impacted from the current liquor licensed establishments. Mitigation measures for point 2 & 3 above are being considered but these measures will require a period of time to assess their effectiveness. As a result, staff RECOMMEND that Council not endorse this application for a Liquor Primary (Class ‘D’ Neighbourhood Pub) liquor license for Luv-A-Fair Entertainment Inc. at 965 Granville Street.

Luv-A-Fair Entertainment Inc. is requesting a Council resolution endorsing their application for a 65-seat with 20-seat patio Liquor Primary (Neighbourhood Pub) in conjunction with the existing 333-seat Liquor Primary (Cabaret) at 965 Granville Street.

Site history: On January 25, 2001, Council endorsed a 220-seat cabaret at this location, subject to a number of conditions which included the permanent closure of the Luv-A-Fair Cabaret at 1275 Seymour Street. As a result of the provincial regulation changes the LCLB issued the new liquor license with a capacity of 333 seats. The applicant also requested a 40-seat Neighbourhood Pub. Council did not support the Neighbourhood Pub at that time, but did not pass a formal resolution against the application. Without a formal resolution against endorsing the neighbourhood pub, Council left the provincial application open for the applicant to reapply to the City at some future date.

The Caprice Cabaret has been open and operating since March 27, 2003. The proposed neighbourhood pub space is currently approved as a Restaurant Class 1 and has been operating since that date as well.

Theatre Row Entertainment District – Stats and Details by Block

700 Block:

· No establishments – no seats

800 Block:


· 800 Granville – Lennox Pub – 90 seats plus 20-seat patio
· 868 Granville – Commodore Ballroom – 990 seats
· 881 Granville – Plaza Cabaret – 401 seats

Outstanding Approvals:

· 870 Granville – Commodore Ballroom – Neighbourhood Pub: 65-seats minimum

900 Block:


· 670 Smithe – Skybar. Two licenses: 220-seat cabaret and 51-seat Neighbourhood Pub plus 20-seat patio
· 919 Granville – Tonic Bar: 227-seats
· 932 Granville – Roxy Cabaret: 300-seats
· 965 Granville – Caprice Cabaret – 333-seats

Outstanding Approvals:

· 952 Granville – 65-seats plus 20-seat patio Class ‘D’ Neighbourhood Pub and a 130 seat Class ‘C’ Cabaret approval still exist with the Provincial Government


· 965 Granville – 65-seat plus 20-seat patio Class ‘D’ Neighbourhood Pub (this request)

Total seats 700-900 block prior to Entertainment Policy = 1,175 seats
Total seats operating 700-900 block today = 2,612 seats
Additional seats 700-900 block with approvals but not in operation = 260 seats

Area Surrounding Premises
The subject premise is located in the Downtown (DD) Zoning District. The surrounding area is primarily office towers and a mixture of hotels, restaurants, retail, cabaret, neighbourhood pub and other commercial uses (refer to Appendix A). Significant residential buildings exist or are under development in the area directly east of Granville Street.

There are 10 cabarets (3140 total seats, including this application), 10 hotel lounges/pubs (1530 total seats), 2 neighbourhood pubs (116 total seats), 3 venues (2130 total seats) and approximately 35 licensed restaurants within the 1000 ft. survey area.

952 Granville Street
Due to the previous Council endorsements (as noted above) for this site, staff feel further clarification of the 952 Granville Street site’s history may assist Council’s decision regarding this application. These previous endorsements (65 seat plus 20 seat patio Class ‘D’ Neighbourhood Pub and a 130 seat Class ‘C’ Cabaret) exist as active applications with the LCLB but have not proceeded past the preliminary approval stage for a variety of reasons. However, recent developments indicate that this project will be moving forward shortly.

The property has been sold and a new operator has assumed control of the LCLB applications. A development permit application to construct a new 2 storey building with a combined neighbourhood pub and cabaret use on a portion of the main floor and the entire mezzanine is in process with the Development Services Group.

Staff recently met with the developer, architect, operator and the operator’s liquor licensing agent to clarify the proposed development permit application. Staff believe that all parties are anxious to proceed and that this proposal will likely be built and operating in the near future. This will result in an additional 65 seat neighbourhood pub (closing at 12 midnight, Sunday to Thursday and 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) and a 130 seat Cabaret (closing at 2:00 a.m. Monday to Saturday and midnight on Sunday) operating on the 900 block of Granville Street in the very near future.


Policy Issues
The primary policy concern with this application is the effect another Liquor Primary (Neighbourhood Pub) establishment will have on the 900 block from the concentration of both seats and establishments. Staff completed an extensive public process in 1997 which resulted in a Council policy for the “Entertainment District” on the 700 – 900 blocks of Granville Street. Prior to the policy, 1 cabaret with 275 seats existed on the 900 block. Table 1, compares Council policy for the 900 block to what is actually operating and/or approved:

Table 1

Council evaluated liquor applications against the policy and subsequently approved 1 additional establishment over and above the policy. After these approvals, the LCLB changed the regulations to allow all of these establishments to increase capacity to building capacity resulting in 303 additional seats on this block.

The significance of the expansion of seating capacity and number of establishments beyond Council’s original Entertainment District Liquor policy appears to centre on the positive correlation between those changes and the current high level of policing issues and other negative street impacts occurring on Granville Street. The types of problems being experienced range from street noise (people yelling, vehicular noise) and consuming liquor in public to people being rowdy, fights and other issues of public safety. These problems may have been compounded by two other factors; the later (4:00 AM) bar closings which has introduced significant patron migration issues to the Granville Mall, and the opening of 3 new liquor establishments on the 900 block of Granville Street within the past year.

Approval of this application would further exceed the original Council Liquor Policy for Granville Street in a number of areas (seating capacity, number of establishments and the policing strategy) and would likely exacerbate the current problems.

Potential Concerns
The most significant concerns with this application are related to what further impact another Liquor Primary establishment may have on the street issues currently being experienced along Granville Street and, specifically, the 900 block. Staff feel the following three variables should be resolved prior to Council considering any new Liquor Primary liquor licenses for the Granville Street Entertainment District:

Staff feel that it is very likely that the last outstanding approval at 952 Granville Street will be open and operating in the very near future. As such, staff feel that it would be prudent to allow the Entertainment District to function for a period of time at capacity to allow staff the opportunity to assess if more Liquor Establishments are supportable for the area.

The issue of patron migration is under review as part of the Comprehensive Hours of Liquor Service policy review. At the time this report was being finalized a recommendation was being brought forward, at Council’s direction, to consider rolling back the Interim Liquor Hours of Service Policy from 4 AM to 3 AM. Unfortunately, no decision was available prior to submission of this report. However, staff note that temporarily rolling back the closing time extensions to 3 AM will likely have a significant impact on the issues and level of patron migration to the downtown. The policy work will seek long term solutions to the issues of patron migration.

Finally, the Police Department has previously indicated that staffing levels should be returned to normal in approximately one year. It is anticipated that once police staffing levels have returned to normal, policing of the Entertainment District will be possible in a more effective and cost efficient manner.

Staff note that all three possible solutions to the outside factors affecting this particular application require a significant amount of time to implement and/or assess. Even rolling back the current Interim Hours of Service policy to 3 AM will require time to assess the effectiveness of the new 3 AM closing time on patron migration, etc., despite the fact that limiting the temporary approvals to 3 AM can be implemented quite quickly. As a result, staff do not support the application, as time is required to assess the effectiveness of any mitigation measures implemented to resolve the problems at the present status quo.

Potential Benefits
There are few potential benefits of this application at this time. The applicant feels that the liquor primary business would make the current restaurant space viable and as such the applicant feels he would be more likely to operate the space during the daytime. It should be noted that at present, the restaurant area closes at 12 midnight, 7 days a week and it is not eligible to participate in the extended closing time policy for the downtown.


On February 19, 2004 2000 notices were hand-delivered to area residents and businesses in the immediate vicinity of the subject site (please refer to Appendix A for details). A site sign was also erected detailing the application. Three (2 emails and 1 fax) responses were received in support of the application, generally noting the addition of a Neighbourhood Pub would be a good mix to the current streetscape. One response (email) was received that indicated concern only for the patio closing hours and once advised of the 11 PM limitation, 7 days a week, no further correspondence was received. However, 4 responses (1 voicemail, 1 email and 2 letters) were received opposed to the application. All respondents generally felt that the area was already adequately served with liquor licensed establishments and that approval of this application would only add to their current problems (nuisance behaviour, vandalism and noise) and decrease the liveability of their homes. It is worth noting that 2 of the respondents are property managers responding on behalf of their building owners and tenants (196 owners and residents in one building and 89 in the other).


The Police Department does not support this application due to the significant concentration of seats and establishments on this block and the associated policing problems.

The Development Services Department has reviewed the application and notes that the site is zoned DD, sub area K1. The existing space is approved as Service Use (Restaurant Class 1). Neighbourhood Public House is a service use that can be considered in this area of the Downtown District. However, a Development Permit will be required to change the use to Neighbourhood Public House.

Central Area Planning Department notes that this block probably has the highest concentration of liquor primary establishments in the City. This raises 3 issues. First, during the late evening and early morning hours there is such a high concentration of patrons in line-ups on this block that at times many pedestrians have to walk on the street which is a concern from a public safety perspective. Many of these pedestrians have consumed alcohol and increasing their numbers can result in increases in the incidents of fighting and other inappropriate behaviour. Second, it is important that this block not become so dominated by liquor primary outlets that it contributes little in the way of shopping and restaurants for those visiting downtown during daytime hours. Third, there are a number of restaurant operators on Granville Street, including several on this block, who may want to have similar consideration for conversion of their licenses from food primary to liquor primary.
On the other hand the application does have its merits. An active business may assist in curtailing drug dealing and other activities which are counter to the success of Granville Street as one of downtown Vancouver’s major shopping streets. Also the restaurant is already busy in the evening and the switch to a liquor primary license may result in only a marginal increase in congestion on the sidewalk and liquor consumption.

A compromise may be to retain the food primary designation of this license and offer the operator the extension of their license by one hour to 1:00 a.m., noting that other restaurants on this block operate beyond midnight. Council may also wish to defer consideration of this restaurant’s hours until it considers a full policy review of the hours of food primary licenses, anticipated later this year.

The Environmental Health Department reports that patio noise could result in noise complaints from nearby residential complexes. Noise impact would likely be minimal on weekends because of all the street activity, but weekday patio noise could be an issue.

The Social Planning Department has been against previous expansion on Granville Street, and would strongly recommend against this application on the basis of concentration of seats. The recent experience with extension of hours on weekends has shown crowding and line-ups on Granville Street.

The Housing Centre also feels that there currently is already an over concentration of liquor licenses and seats in the 2 block radius. The Housing Centre also notes there are the Non Market Housing projects in the 2 block radius that will be adversely impacted by more seats.

Due to the concentration of Liquor Primary seats and establishments in the Entertainment District (in particular, the 900 block) and the associated policing issues and nuisance behaviour, staff RECOMMEND that Council not endorse the applicant’s request for a 65 seat with 20 patio Liquor Primary (Neighbourhood Pub) liquor license. Staff feel that additional time is required to fully assess the street issues currently effecting the Entertainment District.

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