Saanich council meeting as committee-of-the-whole approved expansion plans for Smugglers’ Cove. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Happy hour for pub as Saanich council cheers expansion

Saanich councillors are toasting plans for the proposed expansion of a popular drinking establishment in Saanich’s Cadboro Bay neighbourbood.

Council signalled its unanimous support for plans by Smugglers’ Cove Pub to add 20 additional seats. Ten of the new seats would appear on the ground-floor of the venerable establishment, with the same number appearing on an expanded outdoor deck.

The public heard that the seating expansion on the ground floor recognizes the aging demographics of the area, while the changes on the second floor aim to give the building a more modern appearance.

Council (pending final approval from provincial authorities) also agreed to extend hours of service.

The restaurant plans to open liquor service 30 minutes earlier than it currently does. Proposed hours of operations would be 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays and 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Located on the south side of Penrhyn Stret, the pub lies nestled within the Cadboro Bay Village Shopping Centre.

Sharon Hvozdanski, Saanich’s director of planning, said in a report the proposal appears consistent with Saanich’s Official Community Plan and the Cadboro Bay Local Area Plan.

“It is also consistent with the strategic initiatives of the Regional Growth Strategy that speak complete communities and strengthening the regional economy,” she said. “The proposed renovations would not significantly alter the existing form and character of the existing building, and would enhance the operations of the business.”

Hvozdanski said she expects the impacts on the surrounding neighbourhood to be “minimal.”

Co-owner Brian Dunn said he expects the expanded deck to dampen noise, when Coun. Judy Brownoff asked him about previous noise issues.

“I think it’s important to you keep in good relations with your immediate neighbours,” she said. Dunn agreed.

The building with its Tudor-style appearance has hosted a pub since 1984, when the Barley Mow Inn opened. A change in ownership also led to the current name of the establishment, a focal point of social life in the area, which also attracts visitors from across the region.

Available support for the proposed changes appears strong based on available information.

Hvozdanski said of the 14 written submissions received during two open houses, one opposed the proposed renovations and changes in operation hours.

The Cadboro Bay Community Association also did not register any objections to the proposal.

“We heard no complaints, no one,” said Eric Dahli, association chair.

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