Input sought on Ciderworks’ plans for lounge and outdoor patio

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Salt Spring’s local trust committee is asking residents for their input on Ciderworks’ plans to open a lounge with space for 40 patrons. 

 The local cider company which prides itself on making cider from Salt Spring Island-grown certified organic apples from their own orchard is now looking to open space for 20 patrons indoors and 20 on an outdoor deck. The application is an effort to make permanent what the cider company has been offering during the pandemic and what has been popular with guests. 

Ciderworks’ application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is to transition to a permanent lounge area from what is a temporary expanded service area (TESA), a government initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed establishments to keep serving patrons outdoors while complying with public health guidelines. 

Brian Webster, one half of the duo behind Ciderworks and the Salt Spring Apple Company which he runs together with Peri Lavender, said the expanded service areas were one good thing to come out of the pandemic. It allowed the cidery to serve their products on the patio, whereas service had previously been restricted to the smaller tasting room indoors. 

“Tasting rooms were all of a sudden allowed to have service outside as well, and so in the summer of 2020 and the summer of 2021 we took advantage of that being available. And not surprisingly, it was super popular,” Webster explained. 

The licensing change would allow Ciderworks to continue to offer patrons the same experience once the temporary expanded service area expires June 1. The lounge area would be in addition to a picnic service area. 

“It’s super clear that people being able to enjoy a flight of cider on the deck right off the tasting room is really important to them, and so it’s important to us,” Webster said. 

The LTC is holding a virtual open house tomorrow, with anyone affected by the application invited to attend. The meeting will take place Thursday, Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m. via the following Zoom link: https://islandstrust.zoom.us/j/69336030250

People can also email written submissions to ssiinfo@islandstrust.bc.ca or by mailing or dropping off submissions to the Islands Trust office (#1-500 Lower Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2N8) by Feb. 14.  

One written submission in support of the application has already been received.

“We believe the proposed lounge area will be a lovely place to enjoy beverages in the pleasant weather, and to enjoy the view of the apple trees,” neighbours Zoe and James Sikora wrote. 

The application may then be considered at a Feb. 15 LTC meeting. 

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