Bar owners are saying cheers to the new ‘happy hour’ policy.
Recently the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission dropped the 8 p.m. limit on ‘happy hours’ allowing places serving alcohol to offer reduced drink prices any time during operating hours provided the prices comply with other policies related to minimum drink prices.
That could mean cheaper drinks for customers and more flexibility for bar owners, said Tari Klein, general manager of the East 40th Pub.
“We were fairly limited for quite awhile as far as happy hour and how long you could run it,” said Klein, who has worked at the pub for 21 years. “I think for a lot of bar owners it will help them out and make the customers a little happier.”
Klein said the staff hasn’t had a chance to discuss the new policy. The popular neighbourhood pub offers drink specials throughout the day and all week long.
She said it may draw bigger crowds and keep them in the bar a little longer for the happy hour prices.
The policy was introduced in 2008.
But MADD Red Deer and District chapter co-president Peggy Gougeon is concerned about the ripple effects of cheaper prices for drinks, which will encourage people to drink more because it is more affordable.
Gougeon said MADD encourages liquor establishments to be responsible in their serving to customers such as monitoring over serving during the happy hour period.
“We encourage patrons to be responsible and to plan ahead,” she said. “Plan a safe ride home before heading out. Happy Hour doesn’t forgo being responsible.”
She said that patrons who are saving money on drinks should put the money aside for a safe ride home.
Bill Robinson, AGLC president, said in a news release that the new policy responds to the industry’s needs and is better aligned with its social responsibility mandate.