Unlike Toronto, London bars can't serve booze for morning Olympic hockey games
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission will not consider licence extensions for the Olympics
Hockey fans in London who were hoping to raise a glass to Team Canada at sports bars during early morning games at the Winter Olympics are out of luck.
A spokesman for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario tells CBC News no consideration will be given to liquor licence extensions for early morning events.
"Generally, the AGCO's policy has been to consider extensions only for live events taking place within the province of Ontario, and not for televised events," said Ray Kahnert in a written statement.
He added: "There have been minimal inquiries from licensed establishments."
Toronto an exception
It's a different story in Toronto. Licensed bars and restaurants there will be allowed to open at 7 a.m. on Feb. 19, 23, and 24, when the semifinal and final men's and women's hockey games will be played.
That's because the megacity has special powers under the City of Toronto act that no other municipalities in the province possess.
Joe Kools disappointed
The news that sports bars everywhere else in Ontario will have to remain dry during the Olympic hockey games is a disappointment to Ron Scarfone, the general manager of Joe Kools in downtown London. He saw it as a great opportunity to generate some extra business.
"You might not be pouring beers like crazy (early in the morning), you might not be serving shots, but people would get into the ceasars, they'd get into the vodka and orange juice type of thing. So potentially, yeah, it could [have generated] some revenue for us."
But Scarfone hasn't ruled out opening his bar for breakfast service without booze, like he did during the gold medal game at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
He said the bar was packed with patrons, and when Sidney Crosby scored his team's second goal in their 3-0 victory over Sweden, "the place just erupted."
Fans streamed into the building at 6:30 a.m. They all ate scrambled eggs and bacon, and washed them down with water, juice and coffee.
Scarfone said a short time after the game ended it was 11 a.m., and they were allowed to start serving alcohol, "which made it a really good day in business for us."
He said he hasn't received any calls from patrons asking about breakfast during this year's Olympic games, but he added, it's early. If Canada advances to the semi-finals, he expects the phone to start ringing.