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Council licenses new gay bar on Davie St

Vancouver city council unanimously approved a new liquor licence for the new 60-seat gay lounge in the Davie Village to be called 1181.

“We’re incredibly excited for the opportunity to do something,” says an ebullient David Battersby, one of the proprietors of the new lounge. “A year ago it seemed like a thought but an impossibility in terms of what we had been told about getting approval on these kinds of things.”

It was only five years ago that the owners of the Fountainhead Pub had to endure a three-year battle with city staff and council and an almost $1 million gamble for a licence before they served a single glass of beer.

“I urge council to pass this motion unanimously so we can finish our term on a very positive note with the gay community,” said city councillor Tim Stevenson, who championed Battersby’s application in council.

“It’s so nice to see young people starting a new business in the Davie Village,” said Little Sister’s co-owner Jim Deva, who was there to speak in support of Battersby’s application. “I think back 23 years to the start of our business and it was like the birth of a child. It will mean more business people on our street, probably part of our BIA, and added energy to our village.”

Although 1181 still needs to get its building and development permits from the city, Battersby says the liquor licence was the biggest hurdle. He says 1181 should be open by April at the latest.