Residents question new restaurant’s hours

  • Jul. 23, 2008 6:00 a.m.

An application from the owner of Mile Zero pub for a new licence allowing a restaurant to operate next to the existing bar attracted concern from two Masset residents at a public hearing Monday night (July 21). Fran Redick and Peter Hamel both wanted to know why owner Steve Marshall has applied for the restaurant to be open until 2 am every night of the week, rather than the standard opening hours of 9 am until midnight. Mr. Hamel said the Mile Zero bar already attracts a crowd of underage youth who gather outside in the evening. Right now, they are not allowed in the bar, but they would be allowed in the new restaurant area. Having the restaurant close at 2 am like the bar makes it all the more likely that these young people will meet up with older people who have been drinking, he said. “I don’t think they need the extra hours and I think it will compound the gathering of people late in the evening, and that will be a problem,” Mr. Hamel said. Mr. Hamel said he also had questions about Mr. Marshall’s statement on a letter to council that being open until 2 am will create “less issues” for the community than closing at midnight. However, neither Mr. Marshall nor anyone else from Mile Zero attended the public hearing. Ms Redick said she has no problem with Mr. Marshall’s plans to open a new restaurant, but like Mr. Hamel, has concerns about the proposed hours. “I fail to see why we need a restaurant open until 2 am,” she said. “I don’t understand the rationale. We already have trouble with kids hanging around.” Ms Redick and Mr. Hamel were the only members of the public who attended the hearing. Council members did not discuss the issue any further Monday night, but mayor Barry Pages said they will likely make a resolution at the next council meeting. Council’s opinion will then be sent to the Liquor Control and Licencing Branch, which makes the decision about whether to grant the food-primary licence and whether to approve the additional opening hours. In a letter to council, Mr. Marshall said he wants to change the pub’s former smoking room into an all-ages restaurant with a separate entrance and washrooms from the bar – in effect, making the existing bar area smaller. “My goal is to create a venue that we can utilize our kitchen better to serve all ages in addition to the bar clientele,” he wrote. “This venue will be private and separated from the bar. This will give Masset another option for all age groups.”