Skip to content

City of North Vancouver OKs singing and dancing for Lower Lonsdale pub

Council members could not help but reference Footloose as they agreed to let patrons loosen up a bit at Finch and Barley
City of North Vancouver council suports a motion for Lower Lonsdale’s Finch and Barley to host karaoke and dancing. | Cindy Goodman North Shore News files

The references to Footloose can’t be avoided.

City of North Vancouver council has given its approval for singing and dancing at a Lower Lonsdale pub.

Or, more specifically, the council has endorsed Finch and Barley’s application to the province to allow “patron participation entertainment” be added to their liquor licence, clearing the regulatory hurdle for karaoke and a dance floor.

“Finch and Barley currently offers live music and comedy nights, once per week, on its premises. The live entertainment generally ends by 11 p.m. or earlier. The addition of patron participation entertainment, specifically in the form of open mic/karaoke with dancing is expected to enrich the service offering of the business, and result in retaining and growing its customer base,” states a city staff report, which recommended council go ahead with the proposal.

Council members had some questions about how the city would respond if any boisterousness spilled out onto the street and into the ears of residents, but staff said they are not anticipating any major conflicts for the establishment, which has operated on the 200 block of East First Street since 2011.

Others, including Coun. Tony Valente, were flummoxed by the provincial regulation that requires councils to weigh in before the Liquor and Cannabis Distribution Branch decides whether patrons can “participate” in entertainment.

“It seems a little incredible to me that people can’t dance, for example. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong,” he said.

“We allow dancing,” Mayor Linda Buchanan responded, a reference to the 1984 Kevin Bacon film Footloose, which is about a Chicago teen who takes on a small town council’s ban on dancing.

“I hope so,” Valente responded.

Ultimately, the vote was unanimous.

“This is just an added service that they want that I think we sometimes lack in the city now, compared to when many of us were growing up here,” Buchanan said. “So, I fully support them moving forward and I think all the pieces are in place should there be any concerns that arise but given their history, I would be surprised if that were to happen.”

[email protected]