Liquor Licensing

If you want to apply for a new liquor-primary licence or amend an existing liquor-primary licence you must first contact the City.

What is the process for applying for a liquor licence?

Liquor Licences are issued by the provincial government's Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB). The LCLB requires the support of local government before issuing new liquor licences or amending existing licences for liquor-primary establishments (such as pubs, bars and nightclubs) in the City.  Food-primary (restaurant) liquor licences also require municipal review where you plan to serve past midnight or allow patron participation entertainment like dancing or karaoke.

Once a copy of your application is received, it is reviewed by various City departments, the RCMP, and in certain cases relevant Neighbourhood Association.  All permanent liquor licence changes require public notification and Council review.

What are the different types of liquor licences the City reviews?

Liquor-Primary Licence

Food-Primary Licence

If you have an existing food-primary (restaurant) licence or are applying for a new food-primary liquor licence and wish to serve past midnight and/or allow patron participation entertainment (dancing or karaoke) the following application process applies to you:

Food-Primary Licence Application Process and Checklists (PDF)

Liquor Retail Store Licence

All liquor retail stores within Nanaimo require site specific zoning.  If you wish to relocate or add a new liquor store within the City of Nanaimo a rezoning application will most likely be required.  When asked to consider a rezoning application for a liquor retail store, Council considers the following criteria:

Licencee Retail Stores (LRS) Rezoning Criteria (PDF)

Wine Store Licence

If you wish to sell wine, cider, and/or sake within a grocery store or independent wine store a site specific rezoning application is required.  When asked to consider a rezoning application for wine sales, Council considers the following criteria:

Wine Store Rezoning Criteria (PDF)

Related links

Bylaw To Prevent And Prohibit Nuisances And Disturbances (PDF)
Neilson-Welch Liquor Control Strategy Report (PDF)
Good Neighbour Agreement (PDF)
Bar Watch (PDF)

Contact Us

Current Planning & Subdivision Department 250-755-4429
planning@nanaimo.ca

Last updated: September 7, 2017

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