This Mule will stay awake until 3 a.m.

Supporters and those opposed to longer hours at The Mule Nightclub packed into Council Chambers Tuesday.
Only half were satisfied with the outcome.

Council approved the application from the club for a permanent change to its liquor license for a change in hours.

"This is pretty exciting," said general manager Steve Parker. "A healthy city needs to have a rich and vibrant nightlife."

The current hours of the club on Martin Street are from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday to Sunday. The proposed new hours are opening at noon and closing at 3 a.m., Monday to Sunday.

The situation arose because the applicant is asking the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch for a permanent change to their liquor primary license hours.

Their goal being to ensure the viability of business operations, at a time when nightlife has declined in the city.

There was much support at the meeting for extending the hours from Parker, other employees, and the owners of the new Opal nightclub in the city.

Parker also put to rest a rumour there would be adult entertainment at the club.

The owners of Opal also denied they would be offering adult entertainment, but said they were working to get the longer hours as well.

There was opposition to changes at the Mule from resident Vicki Ashman, who said there is already too much noise and dangerous and violent activities taking place outside the nightclub late at night.

"There is a lack of peace and distasteful things," she said. "We had 79 names on a petition, and I feel our concerns are not being addressed by the city."

City manager Annette Antoniak responded by telling Ashman that RCMP Inspector Brad Haugli, who has since moved on, took this matter to heart last year. Quarterly reports received by the city do not show the activities she describes happening, she said.

Furthermore mitigation measures have been put in place, Antoniak added.

To which Ashman said it is a different picture, a much different picture than what the city is depicting.

Acting mayor Garry Litke said he has sympathy for those who signed the petition, because everybody deserves a good night's sleep.

But like others at the meeting, he feels now there is a second nightclub open on Main Street, people will not travel as much through Gyro Park, from the Barking Parrot to the Mule, contributing to the noise level.

Overall the longer hours at the club are consistent with the city's vision to create a downtown where the sidewalks don't roll up at 5 p.m.

"I remember the 1970s and 80s when there was a vibrant nightlife," he said. "It would be nice to see a return to that. That is what we are aiming for."

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