UBC wants another liquor establishment on campus.
But it won’t be a pub or a club open to anyone coming in from the street.
Rather, it will be an event-driven establishment pouring only during sporting events, and private occasions like receptions, fundraisers, and other booked functions.
UBC has applied with the B.C. Liquor and Licensing Branch for a liquor primary licence for the Gerald McGavin UBC Rugby Centre at 2765 Wesbrook Mall.
The centre is a 5,000 square-foot facility that opened in 2013. Its events space boasts of a 30-foot reclaimed wood bar, and wall-to-wall windows overlooking Thunderbird Park, home to many athletic programs in the university.
The proposed licensed establishment will accommodate 200 people, including staff and 63 patrons at the patio.
According to a letter of intent submitted by the university, there are seven licensed places within a radius of two kilometres of the spot.
The planned licensed establishment will be open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. till the next morning at 1 a.m.
UBC’s application has earned the support of elected municipal officials belonging to the Intergovernment and Finance Electoral Sub‐Committee of the Metro Vancouver regional government.
The sub-committee has recommended that the Metro Vancouver board endorse at its meeting Friday (November 27) UBC’s application with the B.C. Liquor and Licensing Branch.
According to a Metro Vancouver staff report, the RCMP detachment on campus has no objections about having a new liquor establishment.
The University Neighbourhood Association, which represents residents, decided not to take up the matter about UBC’s application in a meeting last month.
One resident, Monika Fisher, isn’t sold on the idea of another liquor establishment on campus.
Writing to Metro Vancouver, Fisher, who lives at Hampton Place, stated that she is concerned about the “noise levels and the hours of operation in a[n] area of the campus bordered by non-student and student residences”.
“The application says the McGavin Rugby Centre won’t operate as a pub, yet it posts hours suggesting it could be open seven days a weeks, 14 hours a day,” Fisher pointed out.
She also wrote: “There are already several places for students to drink on UBC campus, the Student Union Pub, Mahoney’s, Bier Craft, and numerous restaurants on campus that serve alcohol, so I’m unclear why one is required at that location.”
Fisher observed: “As someone who lives there, I can say that the ‘sporting activities’ in the fields are children and university students playing sports. By hosting a wide range of functions you can be certain there’ll be more traffic, more noise, and much more noise late at night in an area where most people leave the field by 11:00 p.m. So why do I want people drinking there until 1:00 a.m., and then making their way home?”