Alcohol OK, but no permanent bar at St. Clements Arena
A RECREATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE can serve adult beverages at its weekly games, but there’ll be no permanent bar set up at the St. Clements Arena, township council decided this week.
Richard Brick, coordinator of Rabbit’s Hockey League (RHL), approached the township with the idea to build a bar at the arena for use during their rental period. There were to be two small keg fridges, storage cupboards and a bar top located in the corner of the former concession booth. All of the costs, material for the construction and operation of the bar would be handled by the recreational league and its volunteers, he suggested.
Recreation staff wasn’t prepared to go along with the suggestion, however, citing concerns about a bar’s impact on the familyfriendly environment at the facility, and potential conflicts with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) regulations on the storage of alcohol.
With that in mind, the staff report to councillors recommended denying the construction of a permanent bar, placement of keg refrigeration and dispensing equipment, as well as storage of alcohol within the St. Clements arena facility.
RHL is permitted to serve drinks during their game times, so long as the league follows the rules and regulations set in place by the municipal alcohol policy and AGCO.
Coun. Carl Smit pointed out that the RHL games take place at around 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., typically after the younger arena users have left.
“My concern is that there are no kids around that time,” said Smit. “We’re going on a user-friendly, family-friendly environment and all that stuff, but by the time the guys on the ice, all the kids are gone. There’s nobody around.”
Risk analyst Brian McEnhill gave some recommendations to council as to how they should handle the serving of alcohol on the municipal property.
“One, that we ensure that there is an agreement in place for the rental,” said McEnhill. “We want to ensure that the location of alcohol sales is limited to designated areas. No alcohol to be stored on site – that’s an AGCO requirement. Highly recommend all servers are smart-served trained as well. That’s an AGCO requirement. Any endorsements or catering has to be registered with the AGCO.”
As a workaround, the parties will look at the logistics of a portable bar for the group’s use.
“As long as there’s room for storage for that type of facility, then it’s probably not a problem,” said chief administrative officer Rik Louwagie.