A group of Vancouver residents has banded together to voice their anger over a plan to turn a once-loved restaurant into a Stanley Park Brewing location.
Construction is slated to begin this fall to renovate the former Fish House restaurant in Stanley Park.
The project was approved by the Vancouver Park Board in November 2016, however, some residents, claim they weren't aware that the brewing company was taking over the lease of the old restaurant.
"The concerns that we have are that it will be a huge disruption in many ways to the neighbourhood in many ways — to the tone of Stanley Park, to residents," said Jill Schroder.
The proposed design for the site includes onsite brewing, a tasting room, a renovated bar, a covered patio and special event and dining areas.
Part of that requires an application for a primary liquor license.
"There was not due process for this whole transition from a quiet elegant restaurant, the Fish House, to a brewpub," said Schroder.
"I think a beer pub would be great, but not here."
A restaurant, not a pub
Vancouver Park Board Comissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung said public consultation did take place in 2015 when the lease for the former Fish House expired.
She said the board did its due diligence when looking for a new tenant for the empty space.
"What we were looking for was somebody who would be a good partner with the Park Board," said Kirby-Yung.
"Stanley Park Brewing has — in my mind — has really demonstrated that."
Stanley Park Brewing is owned by Labatt, a division of beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Kirby-Yung cited the company's launch of Windstorm pale following the Stanley Park storm in 2006. Proceeds were donated to the park's restoration.
One of the terms of the lease, according to Kirby-Yung, is also that no music or entertainment is permitted outside
"We're cognizant that this is a park. We want to maintain that park setting and the enjoy for people so that is a condition of the lease that was extended to Stanley Park brewing," said Kirby-Yung
While the owners are seeking a liquor license, it is only for parts of the establishment and Kirby-Yung says the establishment will be primarily a restaurant.