The owners of the Cut Cartel Barbers Lounge, Anna Thomas and Darren Enns, here seen during the 2019 Crystal Awards, have applied for a liquor primary license to add to their operations at 2425 Bevan Ave. in Sidney. Sidney councillors will consider their proposal again Monday. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney recommends thumbs-up for liquor-serving barber shop

Submissions however show public split between opposition and support

Sidney staff have given the thumbs-up for a local barber shop to start serving alcohol, but their report to council also suggests public support and opposition for the plan cuts almost down the middle.

The report recommends council signal support for the liquor primary application from the Cut Cartel Barber Shop, subject to four conditions that include a prohibition against any outdoor patio and seating. The report also calls on the owners to ensure that noise levels do not increase from those that currently exist or those typically associated with a barber shop.

The report also spells out the possibility of attaching a fifth option, namely limiting the occupant load of the business to no more than 30 people at any time. Its current limit is 50.

RELATED: Sidney barber shop hopes to serve alcohol to customers

Overall, the report finds the location an “acceptable area for the proposed use,” noting that some level of street noise is likely to occur.

Residents choosing to live in a commercially-zoned area “should expect a reasonable level of street noise not typically found in purely residential areas,” it reads.

This said, the report does not foresee problems with noise.

“Noise is not expected to be an issue due to the nature of the business as primarily a personal service establishment, overall size of the unit and the 8 p.m. closing time,” it reads.

While municipal councils do not approve liquor primary application, they can comment, having solicited public feedback.

According to the staff report, Sidney received 43 public submissions, excluding a petition from the applicants signed by more than 100 people.

Of those submissions, 24 supported the application, with the balance opposed. Supporters cited what the report calls the “innovative business approach” and support for a small local business as primary reasons.

Critics have raised questions about the “appropriateness of a barber shop selling alcohol,” the permitted occupant load, increased noise and inadequate private parking. Notably, no additional parking would be required with an additional liquor license.

As for the petition, staff say it offers “very little contextual information” and “it is unclear whether the signatories are Sidney residents, clients or other.”

Final approval authority for the primary liquor license lies with the Liquor and Cannabis Regulations Branch (LCRB) and the staff report gives the LCRB little reason to say no.

“If the application is approved, the impact is expected to be an overall positive in that it will support an existing business in diversifying and offering a unique barbering experience for residents and visitors,” it reads. “Staff expect that the number of people who can be practically accommodated within the space, and the closing hours of 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday is reasonable and the addition of a liquor licence will not constitute a noticeable change from the business’s current operations.”

Council is expected to discuss the report during its May 11 meeting.


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