Saturday, March 22, 2008

Boozing it up in Nova Scotia

No. I have not taken a trip. But this fascinated me. From

People in Nova Scotia prepared to uncork a new tradition on Good Friday across the province: drinking alcohol in a bar or a nightclub.

The new rules are part of sweeping changes to the province's Liquor Control Act that came into effect last summer.

Previously, anyone wishing to drink in public had to order alcohol at an eating establishment, and the cost of the drink was not allowed to be more than the cost of the food consumed.

The new regulations also affect sales of alcohol on Christmas Day.

"I am a little excited to see what happens," John Williams, the manager of the Split Crow bar in Halifax, told CBC News on Friday.

"We honestly don't know what to expect today," Williams said, adding that his staff members were expecting to treat it "as an ordinary day."

Still, not everyone is happy to see bars open.

"It's disgusting," Brent Taylor, a bartender at the Old Triangle Irish Ale House, told CBC News on Friday.

"I have a problem with the government making it so we have to work," he said.

"It seems to me that there's nothing sacred anymore."

But Taylor said a lot of people are keen to know the bar's holiday hours. "We had a tonne of phone calls from customers asking, 'Are you open?'"

Taylor said his place of work "got over 40 calls in one hour" on Friday morning.

"We're expecting to be busy and to stay busy straight through to the end of the day," he said.

Bars and nightclubs also no longer have to provide Nova Scotia's Alcohol and Gaming Authority with monthly reports detailing the sales of liquor and food, although the businesses are required to still maintain those records.

Last July, Nova Scotia changed rules affecting provincially owned liquor stores. Dozens of stores were allowed to open

Out of 107 stores, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation allowed 51 to open as of July 8.

Uh, dude, take a vacation day. Close up if it's your own bar. Oh yeah, and prohibition is over.