Ontario Adopts Temporary Measures to Support Bars, Restaurants and Alcohol Retailers During COVID-19 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has announced a number of temporary measures to support local businesses in Ontario that have been significantly impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario will be allowed to sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm. All active liquor licensees may immediately begin offering this service if they choose and there is no application process or fee required. Liquor may be sold for takeout or delivery through a third party, such as a food delivery service or ordering platform, provided they are acting on behalf of the licensee.

Additionally, the AGCO is temporarily allowing authorized grocery stores and liquor manufacturer retail stores to begin selling alcohol as of 7:00 am in order to support early shopping programs for vulnerable people and to provide greater flexibility to retail stores. The temporary extension of hours also provides greater flexibility for all alcohol retail stores to choose their hours of sale to meet public health objectives. Consumers are encouraged to confirm operating hours with retailers.

The AGCO is also extending by three months the term of all active liquor, gaming and cannabis licences, authorizations and registrations during this extraordinary situation. In all cases, licensees do not need to do anything. Existing licences will simply remain in effect for the extended period, at no additional cost.

“Everyone at the AGCO is concerned for the individuals, families, businesses and communities affected by this virus. We are working closely with the Government of Ontario to find ways of supporting Ontarians and the sectors we regulate during these challenging times” states Jean Major, Registrar and CEO, AGCO.

LCBO ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING OF A LANDMARK STORE IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO

LCBO is welcoming it’s newest addition to its retail store network. The King and Spadina store is relocating two blocks south to 49 Spadina Ave. – Clarence Square. The 22,000 square foot store includes 13,935 square feet of retail selling space.

Housed on the main floor of the Steele Briggs Seed Company building, a Toronto heritage landmark, the space has been converted into one of the most impressive and enticing stores to-date. Located in the vibrant King West district, the new store serves the growing areas of Queen Street West, King Street West, the Entertainment District, and the Waterfront District.

The in-store features include:

Same Day Pick Up: The new location offers the Same Day Pick Up service, where customers have the option to place orders online at LCBO.com and visit one of the designated stores for pick up within hours of ordering.

Tasting Bar: A walk-around tasting bar in the Vintages section is a learning hub for year-round events and tastings, offering engaging experiences and opportunities to interact with makers, brand ambassadors and special in-store appearances.

Tasting Stations: Incorporated throughout the store, tasting stations spotlight new products for customers to sample and purchase.

Product Expansion: The new store is expanding the product offering, with over 1,900 products available for purchase with a large focus on VQA and Ontario Craft Brewer products for customers to bring local home.

Spirits Shops: Along with the established Whisky Shop, the store features the newly launched rum, gin and tequila shops with over 40 new, exclusive or premium selections.

Customers are invited to attend the grand opening on July 9 at 9:30 a.m. and enjoy week-long in-store tasting activations with brand partners and suppliers including: Stella Artois, Nütrl, Stoli, Pelee Island, Ketel One Botanicals, Family Wine Merchants, Côtes des Rosés and Steam Whistle Brewing.

49 Spadina by the numbers:

· 2,740 brands

· 134 VQA wines

· 219 Ontario wines

· 797 Vintages products

· 40 new spirits releases

· #1 LCBO store in Ontario Craft Beer sales

· 146 Local Ontario Craft Brewer listings

· 22,000 square feet

· 13,935 square feet of retail selling space

· 328 linear feet of beer refrigeration

· 40 linear feet of wine refrigeration

· 11 customer service checkouts

· 1 Same Day Pick Up Counter

· 42 employees, including 2 Product Consultants

Store hours are Monday – Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.., Friday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., Sunday, 10:00 – 8:00 p.m.