When men-only beer parlours were a thing

At the hotel in Warman, Sask., the beer parlour would soon convert to a beverage room -- and that meant women would be welcome.

Parlour in Warman, Sask., was one of two remaining in the province in 1972

Change comes to Warman, Sask. when a beer parlour converts to a beverage room that welcomes women. 2:10

At the hotel in Warman, Sask., the beer parlour would soon convert to a beverage room — and that meant women would be welcome.

"Warman ... has something that is unique in this province, and in most other provinces across Canada," said CBC reporter Ron Smith. "A beer parlour for men only."

"But following in the footsteps of other centres, Warman's drinking place is to undergo change," said Smith. 

He explained that a new 1972 provincial act meant that local municipalities no longer had power over drinking laws.

A patron hoped that welcoming women would bring tourists to the hotel bar in Warman, Sask. (CBC News/CBC Archives)

The change eliminated the concept of the "beer parlour" as a drinking place, and introduced the "beverage room" — a place that welcomed women.

According to the Saskatoon News-Optimist, the Warman Hotel and another beer parlour in Marchwell, Sask., were the last two in the province to serve men only.

Not my choice, said proprietor

Owner Vic Lynn said local people had always voted against opening up the hotel bar to women until a provincial law came into effect. (CBC News/CBC Archives)

Hotel owner Vic Lynn, who was also identified as a former NHL player, said it hadn't been his choice to keep women out.

"We live in a Mennonite section," he said. "The churches fought it every time we had a vote ... I guess the people that did want it were just outvoted."

Smith said of the men he talked to in the beer parlour, only one wanted to preserve the status quo — and he wouldn't go on camera. His reasoning was that he wouldn't be able to stay as long if his wife was with him.

'They're only human'

Reporter Ron Smith wrapped up his story by having a couple of glasses of beer brought over to the table. (CBC News/CBC Archives)

"They're only human, same as the rest of us," said an older man who supported drinking with women present. "Their blood is all red, and why shouldn't they have the same privileges?"

"It's going to be quite an asset to our tourist people," said another. "Hot summer day, they want to come in for a cold drink ... the men can stop and have a drink, but the female population was asked to leave the premises."


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