Top Jimmy’s Canoe Beach Café Water Sports is applying for what’s called a ‘food primary’ liquor licence for the fenced area in front of the lakeside Shuswap café. (File photo)

Top Jimmy’s Canoe Beach Café Water Sports is applying for what’s called a ‘food primary’ liquor licence for the fenced area in front of the lakeside Shuswap café. (File photo)

Owners of café at Shuswap’s Canoe Beach apply for liquor licence

Application is for a food-only licence which would allow drinks only inside fenced area by concession

Canoe Beach Cafe & Water Sports is applying to the province for a ‘food primary’ liquor licence at Canoe Beach.

The City of Salmon Arm and cafe owners Jim and Joyce Dunlop have signed a five-year agreement giving the Dunlops the exclusive right to operate a concession and non-motorized water sport business on the city-owned portion of Canoe Beach. The agreement also included approval from the city to apply to the liquor and cannabis regulation branch for a food-primary liquor licence within the fenced portion of the area.

Food primary licences are for establishments such as restaurants, bistros and cafes.

Erin Jackson, the city’s director of corporate services, provided a report detailing improvements the owners have made.

They include deck repair, safety steps, fresh sand, new paint and signage, “significant safety improvements to address risks associated with COVID-19” and a more diversified menu.

The report stated that Jim has a marketing background so has developed a brand and marketing strategy that has increased traffic to the beach.

The Dunlops, who began operating the concession in 2017, also began offering paddle boards, canoes, kayaks and beach umbrellas for rent. They also launched the Canoe Cares Project which, Jackson wrote, has been a positive addition to the community through the recognition of good deeds and support of people in crisis.

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Regarding the liquor licence, the report stated that food service will remain the primary focus of the concession. As well, the owners will minimize potential risks by measures such as limiting hours and increasing staff when customer numbers go up.

A liquor licence will not allow consumption of cannabis there.

Staff listed no concerns with the proposal as long as alcohol consumption is limited to the fenced area, an approved waiver is used for rentals, and proof of adequate liability coverage is submitted annually.

The five-year agreement with the city runs from May 1, 2021 to September 30, 2025.

Council and the owners made brief comments at council’s Jan. 25 meeting.

“Thank you to you and your lovely wife and family for everything you bring to Canoe Beach…,” Coun. Wallace Richmond remarked.

Mayor Alan Harrison said he thinks those comments echo all of council’s feelings regarding the business.

Jim Dunlop thank council and staff on behalf of his spouse and two sons.

“This has been a dream of ours to take it to the next step for our little business. On our behalf and behalf of all of our customers, I know they’ve wanted us to take this step. I’m just tickled you’ve showed us this confidence and support. We won’t let you down…”
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