June 12, 2013 - 10:12 AM
KAMLOOPS – The Commodore Grand Cafe and Lounge is one step closer to being allowed to host more customers after council unanimously agreed to put forward a notice of intent to consider a capacity change to the liquor licence.
Owners Dino Bernardo and Chris Monteleone have been attempting to get a capacity increase for three years and for various reasons could never get the licence through the approval process at the city level.
“It took three years to get to this meeting. We kept getting shut down before we got to council. This one should go through,” Monteleone said Tuesday.
Though the lounge has had a couple over capacity charges over the past several years the liquor control branch is no longer pursuing charges for the most recent event in August, but the owners are still waiting to hear on the ruling for an April event. The dropping of the August charges means there have not been any capacity infractions in the past year, leading the RCMP and the downtown business association to lend support of the increase this time around.
Councillors Donovan Cavers, Nelly Dever and Pat Wallace all say they have seen the lounge at capacity and believe it could easily handle the proposed additional capacity, which would see the total capacity go from 86 (74 inside the building and 12 on the patio) to 107.
“I don't go to the bar often,” Cavers told council, “I was there just before Christmas and 85 persons did look fairly sparse.”
The only concerns from council came from Coun. Ken Christian, who questioned washroom space, and Dever, who wanted clarification on the good neighbour agreement. Staff assured council washroom space had been looked at and any necessary adjustments would have to be made by the lounge prior to the licence being approved. The agreement is a way to help ensure things such as public safety, cleanliness and cooperation on noise levels, council was told.
Monteleone is excited to see the first step make it to council but is unsure of how long it will be before they would actually be able to have more patrons inside the restaurant and lounge . Once the city has approved the increase in capacity the licence application will go to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch of B.C. He expects to not hear back until the end of summer at best, but is still happy to see movement on the capacity increase.
Council now waits for any public feedback and will take a vote on June 25. Mayor Peter Milobar excused himself from the conversation and vote due to a conflict of interest.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013