Nova Scotia

Stillwell contemplates opening north-end Halifax beer garden

Stillwell Bar has applied to the province to set up a beer garden across from the Halifax Common at the corner of Cornwallis and North Park streets.

Stillwell operated the Halifax waterfront beer garden last year, but lost the tender this year

Stillwell operated a popular beer garden on the Halifax waterfront last year. (Stillwell/Twitter)

Stillwell Bar has applied to the province to set up a beer garden across from the Halifax Common at the corner of Cornwallis and North Park streets.

The popular bar operated the waterfront beer garden last year, but the tender for it this year was awarded to the Stubborn Goat.

The co-owner of Stillwell is considering a number of sites because of last summer's successful venture, but has only applied for a liquor licence for a property that used to house an auto repair shop.

"We like the area, it's close to the Oval," said Chris Reynolds.

He says he has met with some of the immediate neighbours and they are supportive of the idea, but he adds he is still vetting the site and it is not yet a sure thing.

On Sunday, an informal meeting was held at the proposed site Sunday evening.

Concerns about noise

Coun. Waye Mason says a group of about 30 people, including Stillwell's owners, met during the height of the evening's rain.

"There are some people who live right nearby who have a lot of concerns and are very against the proposal, but I would say two thirds of the people there are cautiously optimistic," he said Monday.

Mason says the property is commercially zoned so a restaurant is already allowed, but the province would have to permit alcohol to be sold.

"It could be really good," he said. "Having an empty parking lot here and a run down, falling down garage is not good for the neighbourhood.

"It's all about execution. Is the noise going to go out into the park? Is the entrance going into the park? Is it going to be set up so its back is toward the residential, how loud is it going to be for the residents?" Mason said. 

Seasonal beer garden

According to a notice by the Nova Scotia Alcohol and Gaming Division, the proposal is for a beverage room of 8,000 square feet for a maximum of 400 people. The allowable hours for a beverage room are 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 2 a.m. on Sunday.

However, Mason said the co-owners of Stillwell have committed to operating between noon and 10 p.m. on during the week and noon until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, weather permitting.

The owners plan to have amplified music for background entertainment.

Reynolds says it would be a seasonal operation, closing in the fall when the weather gets colder.

The deadline to comment on the proposal is 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

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