Manitobans can hit bars on Good Friday thanks to new liquor laws

For the first time in Manitoba history, alcohol will be available on Good Friday.

Restaurants, bars allowed to push booze for first time ever on statutory holiday

Manitobans will be welcomed to drink in their local pubs and bars this Good Friday. (CBC)

For the first time in Manitoba history, alcohol can be ordered without a meal on Good Friday.

And with the new liquor laws enacted, restaurants and bars won’t be bound by holiday hours.

"Our phone's actually been ringing off the hook for the past week with people who are wondering if we're going to be open, if there's any restrictions and if they come and just enjoy it like another Friday," said Jamie Munro, general manager of Brandon burger joint The Dock on Princess. "It's nice to not have your hands tied and just be free to open."

Brandonite Todd Birkin approved of the loosened liquor laws.

“I think it's good, you know, the world's changing quite a bit and this is Manitoba maybe catching up,” said Birkin.

Former Brandon city mayor Rick Borotsik championed the new laws, but said he’s decided to spend time with his family Friday.

"It's good, it's exciting,” said Borostik. “But no, I'm not going to be in the bar tomorrow, I've got family coming in and I'm going to be seeing them, but I think people who want to come out and have a drink on Good Friday have the choice to do so now."

While many establishments province-wide are looking forward to keeping their doors open this Friday, it raises concerns for some churchgoers.

"It's all about sales — it's about money," said John Reaves, pastor of Brandon’s Bible Baptist Church.

But Reaves explained that this shouldn't just be considered a loss for the religious among us.

“It's just less and less time for family,” said Reaves. “Now family has to work on Sunday; now they're going to have to work on holidays."

Reaves worried that the new laws open up the possibility for other industries to remain open on Good Friday, which he thinks could lead to everyone having to work.