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Red Bird looking to be biggest in Kelowna’s brewery district

After starting small in s 2017, Kelowna’s Red Bird Brewery is applying to have seating for 500 patrons in the summer, which would make it the largest of the seven craft brew pubs in what’s become known as the Brewery District.

Red Bird currently has seating for 99. It is applying to amend its liquor licence to allow for indoor seating for 186 with seasonal outdoor seating for 314 for a total of 500. That will be more than one-third of the seating capacity for the seven existing breweries in the area. The other six have a combined total of 955 seats.

READ MORE: Red Bird Brewing looking to expand in Kelowna

“We have been and will continue to be an important social anchor in the community since 2017,” states a letter accompanying the application, which will be reviewed by Kelowna city council on Tuesday, June 22.

“Our goal of community first lies in all brewery decisions. We welcome families and tell stories of young parents with babies meeting up at the brewery on a Sunday afternoon to catch up and visit. We welcome pets to our patio and have stories of pet owners with common interests meeting at the brewery and having pet get togethers outside the brewery. We are emotional about this topic and it has been an over whelming ride since the doors opened.”

The brewery already has offered music and other performances with events in its parking lot. Plans call for both indoor and outdoor stages.

City staff are concerned about the potential noise impact of such performances on area residents. To date, staff note, Red Bird has managed the noise well and not triggered complaints.

Red Bird is also applying to open at 9 a.m. each day instead of noon in order to serve liquor with breakfasts.

READ MORE: Great brewing minds think alike in Kelowna’s North End brewery district

The Brewery District is centred along Richter Street and Vaughan and Baillie avenues north of Clement Avenue.

Rustic Reel currently has the largest seating capacity with 100 indoors and 95 outdoors. Unleased has 99 indoor seats but only 30 outdoors while Jackknife Brewing has 85 indoor and 20 outdoor.

A number of other breweries, including Penticton’s Bad Tattoo Brewing and The Office are planning to open in the new industrial buildings between Vaughan and Clement Avenues.

READ MORE: Penticton's Bad Tattoo craft brewery setting up a second shop in Kelowna

City staff are recommending council support the application and forward it to the provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

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