Where will the City allow us to go for a glass of wine?

David F. Rooney

Roberta Ciolli asks a very pertinent question in her comments on my story about Benoit Doucet (click here to read to read the original story). Roberta asked: “I do find it interesting that RMR put out a press release today (Friday) stating, ‘The resort expects to add a new wine bar in the village for the 2010 season.’ My question is, will RMR be receiving the same treatment as Mr. Doucet has received from our City Council?”

That’s a heck of a good question, Roberta.

It looks as though our City Councillor have to put on their thinking caps and really consider the consequences of their decisions. They did not have to rule on Doucet’s licence. They could have looked at the petition and said, “Hmmm. Maybe we had better see what Doucet has to say.”

Given the fact that the City’s own report on potential problems with a wine bar showed that none of the relevant authorities were concerned should have absolutely convinced them to table the issue until they had a chance to talk with Doucet.

Of course, that’s not what they did. They denied his licence.

Now comes the news that RMR wants to open a wine bar of its own. Will Council deny them a licence?

I kinda doubt that.

Actually, I strongly suspect that Council will, in the end, grant Doucet his licence. They can — and should — sit on the official notice of denial they were planning to send on Monday to Doucet and to the Liquor Control and Licencing Branch of the Ministry of Housing and Social Development in Victoria. Council won’t be sitting again until Tuesday, April 6. If Doucet shows up as a delegation to explain his business and present the petition of support that he’s circulating around town, my guess is they’ll hear him out and then change their minds and grant it.

I could be wrong, of course.

But public support for Doucet’s civilized little wine bar  is far stronger than the opposition. And then there’s the little matter of the RMR wine bar. If Council refuses to change its mind on Doucet they’ll have a tough time approving the RMR application.

Post Script:

Councillor Steve Bender is absolutely correct when he points out that it is the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch that actually issues the licences. However, in reality the LCLB will not issue a licence that does not have the city’s blessing. So let’s call a spade a spade: by refusing to endorse Doucet’s application the City of Revelstoke is, in effect, killing it.