St. John's has a reason to celebrate and lots of places to do it: according to a new Statistics Canada report, it has the highest concentration of bars per capita of all the major Canadian cities with 3.35 bars per 10,000 residents.
"I think it's good news," says Joella Lomond, executive director of the George Street Association.
"If you think about it, we are outgoing people, we are personable people, we like to go out, we like to have fun," she said.
As far as the provinces go, Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest concentrations of bars per capita in the country, with 3.87 watering holes for every 10,000 residents.
Quebec is a distant second with 2.66 bars per 10,000 people and New Brunswick is third with 2.26 per 10,000.
The proximity helps
Though it might seem counter-intuitive, Lomond said the high density of bars in a small downtown area doesn't negatively affect business, at least not for the bars on George Street. She said each bar is so different from the other, they all attract different clientele.
She also said the proximity helps with monitoring by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
"It allows us to share information between all the bars such as security information, information about under-agers," Lomond said.
A good marketing tool
Lomond said the city's status as bar capital of the country makes St. John's more attractive to conferences and conventions.
"They can take their whole conference to George Street and there's something for everyone, as opposed to other destinations where the bars may be more spread out," she said.
"I think we can use this to our advantage as a marketing tool."
But she emphasizes that there's something in it for the local patrons, too.
"We have long winters," she said. "We're isolated, we're on an island. When they go out, [people] like to have the choice, and they like to go out and enjoy themselves."