A downtown building originally built to house a Chinese restaurant in 1910 could soon have new tenants.
City council will be asked to approve new plans for the 110-year-old building at 1580 Water St., plans which first came to light nearly a year ago.
The applicant is seeking to have the property rezoned to the liquor primary/retail liquor sales zone to accommodate a wine bar, lounge, rooftop deck, interpretive centre and tasting room, education centre and lab, and a wine shop.
While staff does state the application is “inconsistent” with numerous council policies including capacity and proximity to other establishments, it is recommending council approve the application.
“It is important to note that these policies were intended primarily for nightclubs and bars where late night alcohol consumption is the main focus of the venue,” staff stated.
“In this case, the proposed development has a unique mix of features, including a prominent educational component, and though alcohol will be consumed, this is not the focus of the venue. As such, the proposed development would add to the mix of entertainment options in the downtown core, in line with council policy No. 359.”
Total capacity would be 625, including a 60-seat rooftop patio.
The applicant is also proposing to add on to the heritage building, which will require a development permit.
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