Happy St Patrick’s Day: YK’s bars set to open on Sundays

After 8 Pub
Pubs and bars in Yellowknife currently lie empty most Sundays.
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Bars in Yellowknife could soon be allowed to operate on Sundays.

At the moment, regulations state that bars and pubs in the city may not serve liquor on more than 10 Sundays of the year – in contrast to restaurants, which can do so on any Sunday.

The difference is that bars and pubs are “Class A” establishments, seen as depending primarily on alcohol for revenue. Restaurants are categorized separately as, theoretically, they depend primarily on the sale of food, not drink.

Jason Perrino, who owns the After 8 pub alongside Twist in downtown, has called for the rules to be changed.

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He believes it’s only fair that bars and pubs have the right to open on any day.

“I say we do this,” agreed councillor Dan Wong at a meeting of the city’s municipal services committee on Monday.

“I don’t see a reason to force businesses to close on days when they think they can turn a profit.”

February 2014: Bar owners want review of ‘archaic’ liquor laws (NNSL)

Councillor Adrian Bell concurred, adding: “I’ve heard a lot of stories about conferences we manage to attract to Yellowknife – attendees get here on Sunday, head downtown looking for a place to grab a bite, and everything is closed.

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“Driving through downtown (on Sundays), it is a ghost town. To keep tourists coming back and attract more of them, it’s important that they have some options.”

A by-law will be brought forward at this coming Monday’s full council meeting.

The ability to open on public holidays like Christmas Day and Good Friday is also set to be included under the new by-law.

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