By Marianne Curtis
Steinbach residents have rolled out the welcome mat to businesses such as Boston Pizza after a recent referendum saw seventy-two percent of people voting in favour of serving alcohol within the community.
Voters were asked to have their say on three questions on the ballots that would allow beverage rooms, cocktail lounges and private club licences. On the question of Beverage Room Licence: 2,226 people voted in favour, 999 voted against; Cocktail Lounge Licence: 2,272 people voted in favour, 958 voted against; Private Club Licence: 2,302 people voted in favour, 908 voted against.
This is welcome news to Boston Pizza Director of operations Jonathan Enright.
“We are now moving forward with plans to open a restaurant in Steinbach,” stated Enright. “We want to make sure that we can move this forward as quickly as possible.”
The restaurant chain hopes to see construction of the sports bar begin in spring with a fall opening.
Keith Unger, president of the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce says he was not surprised by the vote.
“This vote was tied to jobs and new bisness and I think our culture has changed over time through immigration and generations moving in and moving on,” Unger says. “Our local entrepreneurs will embrace it and take advantage of it because it sparks a new interest in businesses moving to Steinbach.”
The City of Steinbach council is pleased to see the matter settled however, did voice surprise over the huge margin of support.
“My first reaction was “wow” stated councillor Jac Siemens. “This was something I didn’t expect – I think people are tired of going to a referendum on the liquor question over and over.”
As per The Manitoba Liquor Control Act, City Council is required to give third reading to By-Law at the Council meeting on December 6th.
This was the seventh time that Steinbach residents have visited the polls specifically to vote on whether to sell liquor in town.