N.S. bar owners asking province to change rules to allow for curbside pick-up and delivery of booze
DARTMOUTH, N.S. -- The co-owner of a bar in Dartmouth is asking the Nova Scotia government to make regulatory changes that would alter the selling and serving of alcohol.
"To allow for to-go cocktails for bars and restaurants," said Matt Boyle from Dear Friend Bar.
Matt Boyle wants establishments to have permission to make cocktail menus available for online ordering, with drinks then ready for curbside pick-up.
"We would create those the day of. Put them in a container, make them shelf-stable, and make sure all the health protocols are followed," said Boyle.
Boyle says the survival of many businesses is at stake as COVID-19 restrictions continue to crush their bottom line.
"It would be crucial for many bars to stay alive," said Boyle, who has made the request to make these changes, which is now before the government. "We are just waiting to hear back."
Luc Erjavrec from Restaurants Canada said a change to these liquor laws was part of a promise made during the previous Liberal leadership campaign.
"Premier Rankin said he would make commitments to allow us to serve spirits for takeout delivery," said Erjavrec, who said other provinces are already allowing cocktails for curbside pickup. The exact rules varies across the country.
"In a province like Alberta, you are actually allowed to serve the mixed cocktail," said Erjavrec. "In another province, you have to sell the mix in a unit and then the sealed alcohol as a unit."
When reached at his office in Oakville, Ont., MADD Canada CEO Andrew Murie said he does not have any concerns that curbside pickup for cocktails could lead to an increase in drunk driving. Murie said in other parts of the country, cocktails are often delivered directly to homes rather than being picked up at bars.
In an email to CTV News, a representative from the Province of Nova Scotia said: "We aware of the industry’s request for support and reviewing their suggestion for change."
Precise rule changes that would allow curbside cocktails, would still need to be determined as the province navigates any possible changes to licensing in Nova Scotia.