New brew pub proposed in Rock Bay

April 29, 2010 at 10:13 pm 2 comments

My new article for Vibrant Victoria is up. Don and Bonnie Bradley are looking for a rezoning so they can sell their own beer at “The Moon Under Water”, their English-style pub on Bay Street:

Hoping to head off the rezoning headaches experienced when they investigated opening a pub in the old needle exchange building on Cormorant Street, the Bradleys searched for a location that had industrial zoning (including restaurant and brewery uses) close to Downtown’s border population. Unfortunately for them, in order to sell their own beer in the restaurant, a liquor primary license was also required, triggering the rezoning they hoped to avoid. Antiquated “Tied House” laws, drafted before the era of the neighbourhood brew pub and with national breweries in mind, have been the bane of the Victoria publican’s existence for generations, forcing pubs to sell competitors’ products unless special permission was granted.

Don and Bonnie vow to press on with their chosen location and are in the process of installing fireplaces, skylights, furniture and brewing equipment in the former Direct Buy location at 350-B Bay Street. Named “The Moon Under Water” after George Orwell’s article on the hypothetical ideal pub, the Bradley’s alehouse will be modeled after traditional English self-serve pubs.

Read more.

Entry filed under: City Hall, urban design, Victoria's economy.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. robertrandall  |  May 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Some of the feedback I’ve heard since the article was published included some skepticism Victorians would accept the self-serve concept, noting most Victoria pubs abandoned the long-time tradition years ago.

    As one person pointed out, there will still be bussers clearing tables, so it’s natural to assume they will be asked to get another round, or extra napkins or ketchup etc. Unless the beer is cheap, Victorians might expect more in terms of service. But then, owner Don Bradley co-founded Bowen Island Brewery, which produces decent beer at near rock-bottom prices.

  • 2. robertrandall  |  May 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Rozsan Holmen follows up on the brewpub plan in this Victoria News article:

    “On March 23, the day Bonnie jokingly refers to as Black Tuesday, they realized a brewpub requires a liquor primary licence, rather than a food primary licence. A liquor primary licence triggers a rezoning requirement through the city.

    “We just had signed the lease and just had gotten the equipment,” Bonnie said. “Nobody had ever mentioned it,” added Don.

    Too late to turn back, the Bradleys are building both restaurant and brewery and hope to soon get permission to sell their own product in their own establishment.

    Paul Hadfield, owner of Spinnakers Brew Pub on the other side of the bridge, welcomes the competition.

    “Having a brewery in your pub is akin to having a kitchen in your restaurant,” he said. “There are lots of people that are very interested in craft beer and they seek it out wherever they go.””


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