City saves gab for liquor board’s tab

City reserves comment about liquor licenses changes, waiting instead to do so during provincially funded process.

Mum’s the word from city councillors regarding comments to the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch about two proposed liquor licence changes in Port Alberni.

Rusty Anchor Inn owner Chris Ashby is applying to have his business hours extended to 2 a.m., although he says he doesn’t intend to be open that late, city planner Scott Smith said.

Uptown at Carly’s Lounge inside the Beaufort Hotel, the club owner wants to change the floor plan back to the original plan when it was a pool hall. The initiative will increase its customer capacity from 90 to 140, Smith said.

Coun. Jack McLeman initially expressed concern about the Carly’s Lounge application. “We’re still getting complaints about them and they broke promises to us,” McLeman said. “I don’t live in the neighbourhood so maybe I’m wrong. We should oppose this until we get some guarantees.”

Coun. Cindy Solda corrected McLeman, saying that the Carly’s Lounge business owner is separate from the owner of the Beaufort Hotel.

Councillors chose to make no comment but for ulterior reasons. “If we choose to comment then we’re on the hook for $500 for public input,” Mayor John Douglas said. “If we don’t comment, then the liquor control board is on the hook.”

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