News release

Change to Liquor Licensing Regulations Cuts Red Tape for Restaurants

Nova Scotia's restaurants and their customers will benefit from a change to liquor licensing regulations.

Effective today, Jan. 24, restaurant patrons will be able to order up to two alcoholic drinks without ordering food. Until now, customers had to order food to be served an alcoholic drink or move to the restaurant's designated lounge area, if one existed.

"This change will allow licensed restaurants - especially those without a lounge space - to better meet the needs of their customers," said Mark Furey, Minister of Service Nova Scotia. "This is about helping restaurants stay competitive, while continuing to ensure the sale and consumption of alcohol is done in a safe and responsible way."

This change only applies to restaurants that hold a valid liquor licence.

"This will eliminate an unnecessary business barrier to allow restaurant operators to better serve their customers," said Luc Erjavec, vice-president Atlantic for Restaurants Canada. "Before this change, there were areas of this province where it was impossible for a customer to go into an establishment and order a drink.

"For some restaurant operators this change will also eliminate the need for a costly second liquor licence."

This announcement is part of Red Tape Awareness Week. The government is working to make Nova Scotia stronger by investing in infrastructure and innovation, and cutting red tape to help businesses grow their business - and the economy.


Government has made changes to the province's liquor licensing regulations to cut red tape and better meet the needs of the restaurant industry.

The change will allow licensed restaurants to serve two alcoholic drinks to their customers without food.

Before this change people were required to order an alcoholic drink with food or move to a designated lounge area, if one existed in the restaurant.

This change is part of government's commitment to cutting red tape, modernizing legislation, and regulatory reform to help businesses succeed.


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