Restaurateur readies to deliver booze with food

For the first time, Vancouverites will be able to have beer and winedelivered with their meals when they call a Yaletown restaurant thatfound a loophole in the Liquor Control and Licensing Act.

For the first time, Vancouverites will be able to have beer and wine delivered with their meals when they call a Yaletown restaurant that found a loophole in the Liquor Control and Licensing Act.

Capone’s Restaurant and Jazz Club has opened a separate company that in two weeks will start working in conjunction with the eatery to deliver alcohol.

Owner Rick Momsen said the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB) bristled when it heard his plans.

“Nobody’s ever done it,” he said. “We’re pushing the envelope on something you should (already) be able to do.”

When he first tried to put the plan in motion a couple of months ago, a competitor complained to the LCLB and Momsen was forced back to his lawyer.

“I talked to the Liquor Branch the other day and laid out the Liquor Act,” he said, explaining that by starting Capone’s Delivery he avoids breaking the law.

It’s illegal for restaurants to deliver liquor and for delivery services to stock booze. When customers call Capone’s and ask for alcohol, the delivery company buys it from a nearby wine store and delivers it with the food for an extra $5 fee.

“I’m not going after the 18-year-old kids who want to have liquor delivered to them, but the adult couple who wants to have a nice dinner and movie at home when it’s raining, and it’s crazy they can’t do that,” he said.

“People should be able to (order) a glass of wine with dinner.”

A spokesperson for the LCLB said the branch is assessing the legality of the idea.

“Licensed restaurants … are not permitted to offer liquor delivery services, or advertise that they do,” the spokesperson said. “The Liquor Control and licensing Branch … will be obtaining legal advice as to whether what is being contemplated is in compliance with … policy.”

Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said that if Capone’s pulls it off other Vancouver restaurants are likely to do the same.

“This is an economy that requires a lot of innovative thinking,” he said.

“If it works, you’ll see a lot more of it. Good on them.”

 
 
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