Return of the Speak Easy

Liquor Control Board of OntarioI just got in from hoarding as much liquor and wine as possible from the LCBO.  To be quite frank, the mood was a mix of pandemonium and despair, which gave the entire store an end of the world type of vibe.  In case you haven’t heard, employees of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) are threatening to strike as early as this Wednesday.  The union representing the workers wants to update standard provisions to ensure parity with other employers, including:  more full-time jobs, higher pay, and improved benefits.  Although their demands seem reasonable, they may have been in a better position to negotiate a year ago, when the world wasn’t at the bottom of a recession.

Just what does a potential LCBO strike mean for Kingston?  Although you and I can probably ride this thing out by stocking up with a few reserve bottles of gin, local restaurants and bars may not be so lucky.  Surely, many eateries and pubs are also stocking up, but that said, most do not have sprawling supply rooms to store a month’s worth of Moet.  Then again, vino can be purchased through local wineries in Prince Edward County, and if you like drinking <sarcasm> wretched swill</sarcasm>, there’s always the wine shop at Walmart.  Needless to say, that does not allow local restaurants to replenish their harder spirits.  Considering alcohol usually accounts for a good portion of the bill when you eat out, some restaurateurs might consider crossing the picket lines just to fill their precious drink orders.

Rest assured Kingston, your local Beer Stores will remain open.  So at the very least, pubs and restaurants will be able to keep a steady supply of ice cold ale on tap, and your backyard BBQ won’t be entirely dry.  Should the strike go down as forecast, let’s hope that I don’t have enough time to perfect my recipe for bathtub hooch, or else I’ll have no reason to return to the the LCBO once it re-opens.  All joking aside, so long as the strike is short, I don’t imagine Kingston will be hit hard by the closure of our four LCBO locations.  Special thanks to Divwerf for today’s photo.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

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