Restaurants, bars and liquor manufacturers have more time to apply to make temporary service areas permanent as they recover from the pandemic.
“Some local governments needed additional time to make the needed policy changes and assess applications for permanent structural changes in their communities,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “This extension will also give businesses more time to apply and prevent the risk of disrupting patio service during the busy summer season.”
In June 2021, the Province announced it would extend existing temporary expanded service area (TESA) authorizations until June 1, 2022, to provide time for local authorities to update their patio policies and for licensees to apply to make those areas permanent.
The Province is now extending TESA authorizations further to March 31, 2023, to provide more time to make TESAs permanent.
“The TESA extension is great news for the many B.C. restaurants and bars that have innovated and adapted over the past two years,” said Ian Tostenson, president and CEO, BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association. “After the pandemic downturn, this decision will take one worry off businesses’ plates. As they plan for the future, they can continue to welcome their customers in expanded service areas and benefit from the resulting revenue.”
Businesses are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible, as local governments and First Nations need to evaluate structures and outdoor licensed areas in consideration of their communities’ requirements before expanded service areas are made permanent by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).
- TESAs were an interim measure intended to help businesses weather the pandemic.
- TESAs have allowed thousands of restaurants and pubs to serve more patrons while complying with health orders, particularly those related to physical distancing and indoor dining.
- Businesses wishing to make their current TESA permanent must apply through the Liquor and Cannabis Licensing Portal for a new outdoor patio permanent structural change (for outdoor TESAs), or a new interior service area permanent structural change (for indoor TESAs).
- Permanent approval of expanded service areas must meet all local bylaws and requirements (e.g., related to parking, building codes, and the use of public land).
Liquor and Cannabis Licensing Portal: https://justice.gov.bc.ca/lcrb/
LCRB policy directives regarding the changes: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/liquor-regulation- licensing/liquor-licence-permits/liquor-law-policy/liquor-policy-directives