Vancouver city council Wednesday approved the liquor licence for a new restaurant set to open in Stanley Park.
Later this year, Vancouver Park Board and Stanley Park Brewing will open a new operation at the site of the old Fish House restaurant near the tennis courts in Stanley Park.
Staff attached several conditions to the licence including that no music or entertainment be provided on the patio and the submission of an acoustic report to confirm that the establishment meets the city’s noise control bylaw and “operates in a manner conducive to the surrounding area,” Kathryn Holm, the city’s chief licence inspector, told council.
She added that the hours of operation will be limited in the first six months the restaurant is open to allow staff to monitor impacts.
The application was approved in a vote of 7-1 with Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr. Council added an amendment to add a community liaison committee to monitor operations prior to the probation period ending.
In November 2016, the park board approved a lease agreement with Stanley Park Brewing for a restaurant with small batch brewing on site and retail use at the former Fish House property. The building has been used as a restaurant that included two “active patios” for almost 70 years, stated a park board press release.
“We are very excited to be working with the park board to transform the former Fish House into a new community oriented restaurant with a small batch brewery,” Brian Kuhn, general manager at Stanley Park Brewing, said last week in an email to the Courier.
The $4.5-million project will include a full-service restaurant, small-batch brewing, a retail space and growler filling station, as well as a space for private functions, all within the existing footprint.
Several residents attended the meeting with four speaking in favour, including Kuhn, and 10 against.
Those speaking out against the project noted concerns about the impact construction and operation of the restaurant will have on a nearby heron colony, as well as the surrounding neighbourhood.
A group calling itself Stanley Park Advocates is opposed to the new operation, saying allowing a beer company to take over the space sets a precedent of putting breweries in parks.
Stanley Park Brewing is owned by Labatt, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest beer conglomerate in the world.
Spokesperson Maria Morlin, a biology teacher at Vancouver Community College who studies herons, said the disturbance could have a negative effect on the colony, which currently includes 120 nests.
She previously told the Courier she has concerned that the herons will abandon the colony.
“Heron breeding areas need to be within 10 kilometres of feeding, which is the ocean, so there’s not very many spots where they can actually have a colony,” Morlin said. “And their numbers are also not that great. They are a vulnerable species on the brink of being endangered.”
Park board biologist Nick Page said last week in a press release nesting herons are tolerant of urban activities once a colony settles in.
“The Stanley Park nesting colony co-exists with constant use of the surrounding area by people, dogs, tennis, lawn mowing and other park recreation and maintenance activities,” he said. “In fact, some heron colonies benefit from urban locations because human use can reduce eagle predation on eggs and chicks.”