Leslieville restaurant wants to sell alcohol earlier, especially during weekend brunch
Published Tuesday, February 5, 2019 7:52PM EST Last Updated Tuesday, February 5, 2019 8:01PM EST
The owner of a Leslieville restaurant is arguing that she should be able to serve alcohol earlier in the day, especially on the weekends.
Cindy Wilkes, the owner of Brooklyn Tavern on Queen Street East, says she is frustrated that she has to deny customers a mimosa with their Sunday brunch when they come in to the restaurant before 11 a.m.
“I’m going to say that three quarters of the people would have a drink at 10 o’clock in the morning,” she told CTV News Toronto. “I’m just trying to make a living here and give people what they want.”
A photograph posted to Instagram two days ago shows the restaurant packed with customers enjoying their weekend breakfast. In the caption, Wilkes writes “Full restaurant at 10:15! Can’t serve alcohol though! But someone can smoke a joint anytime they want! Gotta love it!”
In December, the Progressive Conservative government announced that all LCBO and Beer Stores, along with authorized grocery stores and winery retail stores, could sell alcohol between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Wilkes argues that if the province is allowing the sale of alcohol at retail outlets earlier in the morning, licensed restaurants should also be granted the same privilege.
“I should be able to serve alcohol at the same time that the government can sell it,” Wilkes said.
Paula Fletcher, the councillor for Toronto-Danforth, called Leslieville “the brunch capital” of Toronto and said she would bring the issue up at City Hall. Council would have to ask the province to alter legislation allowing for the extended hours of sales.
“When they're having they’re big brunch date on Queen East in Leslieville, people would like to have a glass of wine much earlier in the day that they're allowed,” Fletcher said.
She also said that until the legislation changes, council could explore the possibility of setting up more special occasion permits for brunch-areas in the city.
The city has previously approved early alcohol permits for big sporting events.
With files from CTV News Toronto's Natalie Johnson