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Steel & Oak wants to double patron seating at New West brewery

Permanent patio and a reconfigured indoor space are part of the plans for the Third Avenue facility
Steel & Oak Brewing Co. wants to turn its temporary pandemic patio into a permanent fixture as part of a plan to double its patron capacity from 50 to 100. The New Westminster brewery will need approval from the city and the B.C. Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

Steel & Oak Brewing Company wants to double its capacity for patrons and make its patio permanent.

New Westminster city council is embarking on a process to pave the way for the changes to the brewery’s Third Avenue facility. Currently, the brewery can accommodate 50 people; it wants to expand that number to 100.

A city staff report notes the plans would require expanding the interior lounge area from 600 square feet to just over 800 square feet by converting and reconfiguring a portion of its existing cold  storage area and adding an additional washroom. The total interior square footage would remain the same.

The city report notes the indoor capacity would be capped at 89 people, and the rest of the increase would come from the patio space.

The brewery also wants to make its temporary on-street pandemic patio more permanent by incorporating it as a licensed outdoor patio.

The outdoor space is currently allowed to operate under B.C. Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch rules, which give restaurants, pubs and breweries permission to operate expanded outdoor spaces until Oct. 31, 2021. Steel & Oak would need approval from the LCRB and the City of New Westminster to keep the patio past that time.

The changes would require both a zoning bylaw amendment and a provincial manufacturing facility structural change application.

As the next step in the process, Steel & Oak will need to provide information to neighbouring residents groups (the Brow of the Hill Residents Association and the Quayside Community Board).

After that, if council decides to give two readings to the zoning bylaw changes, the application would be sent out for public hearing to get feedback from the community.

That public hearing would also serve as the community feedback process required by the LCRB.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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