After years of patiently waiting, Quebec’s restaurant and bar owners can finally rejoice – the rules around alcohol are about to change, making their lives much easier. Patrons will also enjoy new freedoms, starting July 1st of this year.
Bill 170 aims to “modernize the legal regime surrounding alcohol permits and alcoholic beverages,” the Association des restaurateurs du Québec (ARQ) wrote on its website. The bill was passed by Quebec’s National Assembly on June 12, and some of its dispositions go into effect as early as July 1st.
Here are some of the changes we’ll see next month:
- Minors will be allowed on bar terraces until 10:00 p.m. when accompanied by a parent or guardian;
- Establishments will be allowed to pre-mix drinks. However, anything not sold the same day must be thrown out;
- Patrons will be allowed to stay on the premises until 4:00 a.m. but alcohol still won’t be sold past 3:00 a.m.
More changes were also approved, but their implementation date has not yet been determined. The most significant change is the ability for establishments with a restaurant permit to serve alcohol to patrons without forcing them to eat. In addition, caterers will eventually be allowed to sell alcohol. Hotels will also be allowed to serve alcohol in their common areas (lounges, etc.).
However, employees will now have to take a “safe serve” course on how to responsibly serve alcohol.