British Columbia

Sale of liquor in grocery stores approved by Vancouver city council

The City of Vancouver has approved the sale of liquor in grocery stores after a public hearing Tuesday night.

Amendments will allow qualifying grocery stores to sell liquor using a store-within-store model

Vancouver grocery stores have received the go-ahead to sell liquor, with certain restrictions from the city. (CBC)

The City of Vancouver has approved the sale of liquor in grocery stores after a public hearing Tuesday night.

A new retail category of "grocery store with liquor store" was approved by city council, making it possible for grocery stores that meet provincial liquor standards to set up a separate liquor sales area inside the store.

Drug stores, which used to fall under the old grocery store bylaws, will not be allowed to sell liquor.

"Over the last few years, we have undertaken extensive public and stakeholder consultation regarding updates to the city's liquor policies," said Kaye Krishna, general manager, development, buildings and licensing.

"These amendments not only balance the public's request, but also bring our liquor bylaws in line with provincial regulations."

According to B.C. liquor control regulations, grocery stores must be at least 10,000 square feet in size and at least one kilometre away from any other liquor retailer to be considered candidates for a store within a store.

Last year a report from Vancouver city staff noted there are currently only two areas of the city where a store-in-store liquor store could exist in compliance with all the restrictions. It also mentioned 30 locations where existing liquor stores could relocate into grocery stores.