“I think it’s a great opportunity for the daytime because most pubs are half dead after lunch,” he explains. “You’ll get a lot more food business with kids being allowed in there.”
Establishment owners would still have the option to remain adult-only, but Hynes says he’ll likely embrace the opportunity, even if there are a few complaints. It could also mean more bookings for larger family-friendly events.
“It opens up great opportunities for us to have better company Christmas parties when they can bring their kids,” Hynes argues. “We haven’t been able to do any of that sort of stuff.”
However, other changes being introduced may not have such a great effect on the Peace Region, like the ability to offer time-limited drink specials and sell alcohol products in grocery stores. While Hynes plans to implement happy hour specials at On the Rocks, he doesn’t believe it would bring in many more customers, as many people work too late to be out before 7 p.m.
“Anywhere bigger, happy hour works. We’re already giving away free beer on Friday at 5 p.m. but at 5 we can’t even give beer away. That’s just the way it is. 6:48 Most people don’t get out the door until 7:00 anyways.”
Still, Hynes plans to check out happy hour specials on his next trip out of the province to get ideas and form a plan.
With On the Rocks opening more liquor stores in town, Hynes was initially concerned about the prospect of local grocery stores selling beer and wine, but after more research he believes it too will mostly affect larger communities. The government’s moratorium on new private liquor retail licences won’t be lifted until 2022, meaning anyone wanting to sell booze in their store would have to buy a license off of a current holder.
“I feel like it’s not going to affect us up here because unless they make a whole new licence and just give it to them,” adds Hynes.
A final decision on any new liquor laws is expected in the New Year.