Central Okanagan pubs, bars welcome lifting of liquor restrictions

A sigh of relief for bars

Madison Erhardt

‘’This is such fantastic news. We are so excited."

It is a sigh of relief for many pubs and bars across the region.

On Monday, Interior Health announced restrictions on liquor service are lifting and alcohol service may resume after 10 p.m. across the Central Okanagan.

For Jeffrey Bowler, the owner of Kelly O'Bryan's Restaurant in Kelowna, the news has been long-awaited.

“When did they take it away from us? About a month and a week ago, and we literally lost 50 per cent of our business and unfortunately had to lay off about a dozen of our employees. That is how bad it was and now that we reopen we are happy. We are going to be drinking beer everywhere.”

Bowler says the restaurant is now open from 11 a.m. until midnight.

“With the new vaccine policy, customers have been coming in they are happy, they are excited. They feel safe again. It is incredible.”

Kelly’O's says their first night with the extended hours was a bit slow, but they anticipate it will pick up.

“The vaccine passport thing is going to be a little slower. It will take a while to get everyone on to it, of course. We are expecting business to pick up on the weekends. Heading into the fall we are a little slower so this is perfect timing.”

Outdoor personal gatherings (e.g., birthday parties, backyard BBQs, block parties) remain limited to no more than 50 people, and indoor personal gatherings are limited to five guests or one other household.

Interior Health says those measures will remain in place until the region experiences lower cases and higher vaccination rates.

More Kelowna News