Not all Kamloops businesses embracing liquor law changes

By Adam Donnelly
January 23, 2017 - 4:53pm Updated: January 23, 2017 - 5:36pm

KAMLOOPS — It’s another step in the BC Liberal’s loosing of provincial liquor laws - today, an updated Liquor Control and Licensing Act took effect, that the government says will create new opportunities for businesses, and increase convenience or customers. One of the biggest changes is the opportunity for all types of businesses to apply for a liquor license, including bookstores, art galleries, salons and barber shops, but as CFJC Today found out, not everyone plans to embrace the opportunity.

There’s nothing quite like a cool, tasty beer hitting your lips…

But at the local barber shop? Today, new rules set out by the BC Liberal government took effect, which allows all types of businesses to apply for a liquor license, but just because they can, doesn’t mean every place that cuts hair will. Deanna DiCicco, who owns the Manhandler Barber Shop says there a couple of reasons she doesn’t plan to apply for a permanent license.

“Our haircuts are basically around 15 minutes,” DiCicco explained. “I’m not overly comfortable with somebody, for one, trying to drink a beer while getting a haircut, and then two, getting in their vehicle and driving away after just drinking a beer.”

There’s also the option to apply for a special event permit, a one-time license which would allow a business to sell drinks. In the past, DiCicco says they’ve allowed customers to bring their own beverages, in the case of special occasions.

“What we’ve done, is we’ve shut our business down for a wedding party, and they’ve come in and they’ve brought a glass of scotch or something, which is completely different if they’re going be a couple of hours,” DiCicco said.

Selling alcohol at non-traditional businesses is just one of the many changes to the act. All in all, there were 73 recommendations made to the provincial government. Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone says is all about giving customers choices, while creating opportunities for businesses.

“Today’s regulations enact a number of other changes,” Stone explained. “For example, British Columbians will now be able to check into a hotel or a resort and be provided with a complimentary alcoholic beverage upon check-in. If you’re on a golf course in British Columbia you’ll now be able to take your alcoholic beverage from one part of the golf course to another.”

DiCicco says she could see a business like a spa, or salon offer their customers a drink, but for now, the Manhandler will stick with their non-alcoholic refreshments.

“For a salon, maybe you’re there for two-hour service, and you can have a glass of wine in that time, but for something as quick as us I don’t see it too appropriately, because of them [being able to jump] in their car and drive afterwards.”

MLA Stone says grocery store wine sales comply with NAFTA regulations