Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit February 15, 2017 - 1:10 pm

The Snack diner applies for liquor licence in Nunavut’s capital

But owners say they'll only sell beer and limit sales to three or four per customer

The Snack, a long-time Iqaluit diner that serves up burgers, fries and sandwiches now wants to serve you beer. A public hearing on the restaurant's liquor licence application will be held at the Cadet Hall in Iqaluit March 16 at 6 p.m. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)
The Snack, a long-time Iqaluit diner that serves up burgers, fries and sandwiches now wants to serve you beer. A public hearing on the restaurant's liquor licence application will be held at the Cadet Hall in Iqaluit March 16 at 6 p.m. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)

Would you like a beer with that grilled cheese?

The Snack, a popular diner in Iqaluit, is applying for a liquor license, according to papers filed with the Nunavut Liquor Licensing Board.

But the public will have its say on that application, filed in December 2016, one of the diner’s co-owners told Nunatsiaq News Feb. 15.

“I’m hoping the fact that the [Iqaluit] liquor store has been approved, that regulations have gone down a bit. But we also have a game plan: a maximum of three or four beers per customer, with no liquor or wine sales,” said Danny Savard from Upper Base Garage, another company he co-owns in Iqaluit.

A public hearing on the licence application will take place at the Iqaluit Cadet Hall on March 16 at 6 p.m., the undated notice said.

Written objections to the application must be submitted to the liquor board before March 3.

The Snack, which has a maximum seating capacity of 36, is applying for a dining room licence, the notice said.

Savard, who took over ownership of the Snack along with business partners Michel Gilbert and Alex Croteau in July 2016, said the decision to apply for the licence makes sound business sense.

“It’s a good return on investment. And we’ve had a lot of people say they’d like to have a cheeseburger with a beer or two and not have to pay $25 or $30 for a burger, like at other places in town.”

But citing the controversy that often accompanies any talk of liquor sales in Iqaluit, Savard said The Snack, owned by a company registered as 5514 Nunavut Inc., would have a “self-imposed” limit of three or four beers and no other liquor or wine sales.

“I don’t know anyone who drinks three beers and goes crazy.”

The March 16 hearing is open to all members of the public.

If you want to submit comments on the application, send them to Annie Joannie, assistant executive secretary at the licensing board, by March 3 at:

PO Box 1269
Iqaluit, NU
X0A 0H0
Tel: (867) 975-6807
Fax: (867) 975-5805

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(48) Comments:

#1. Posted by Scaredddd !!! on February 15, 2017

OMG, BEER! Some one call the Jesus quick! We can’t have this!

#2. Posted by Northern Guy on February 15, 2017

If the Snack gets a liquor license that will be the last time that either me or my kids will EVER set foot in the place. It has always been our family’s place to go for a special treat because the atmosphere was one that I felt was family-safe and family-friendly.

However by adding booze (even if it is only beer) I am 100% confident that the family-safe/family-friendly atmosphere will very rapidly disappear. There are already enough eateries in town that cater to the booze and food crowd ... absolutely no need to add another at the expense of one of the few family-oriented restos left in Iqaluit.

#3. Posted by fair on February 15, 2017

If other places like the Navigator, Water’s Edge and Frob are allowed to have a liquor license, the Snack should be allowed too. A beer and a burger is not strange or unheard of. And if people want a burger and beer, they will not go to the snack, they will go somewhere else. That means the snack is losing business.
A limit is good. I’d personally stick to two and not three, but that is just a personal opinion.

#4. Posted by fair on February 15, 2017

#2, then open your own restaurant. Seriously. Who are you to say that this particular restaurant can’t legally and responsibly serve customers a beer and burger. The only places down south that aren’t licensed are fast food places. Even Denny’s and Chuck E Cheese are licensed. And I have never seen anyone stumbling around drunk, because the servers follow the rules. If the concern is that the rules won’t be followed, then that is a totally different discussion and applies to all of the licensed restaurants.

#5. Posted by Munchies on February 15, 2017

Could they also deliver beer with my burger and poutine??

#6. Posted by Sammi on February 15, 2017

#2: such high praise for a kid-friendly restaurant that used to be a front for a drug ring. There’s plenty of drama there without the booze.

Just a thought: If you get to keep your restaurant alcohol-free, can I get a fine dining experience at the Disco or Frobisher or Watersedge that’s kid-free?

#7. Posted by Such A Bad Idea on February 15, 2017

The Snack + booze is such a bad idea! It’s one of the only places to go to be free of drinkers.
Danny Savard should open a different venue, somewhere else, if he wants to cash in on liquor sales.

#8. Posted by Family man on February 15, 2017

I too like going there with my family because it’s a nice place to go with the kids without people drinking.
Can’t we just have a place to go eat that does not involve drinking?
So many places here where you can drink, I hope it doesn’t go through with this one, I too will stop taking my family there if it is approved.
#4 feel free to go to those places down south to have your beer and a burger, there are other places also here that you can get a beer and a burger too. That seems pretty fair don’t you think?

#9. Posted by Concerned Citizen on February 15, 2017

The Snack is classified as a fast food restaurant, not a full serve restaurant.  This is a place where children hang out with their friends and where families can go an enjoy a quiet meal together.  If you want a beer and a burger than go to a full serve restaurant in town, there’s enough of them.  There’s no reason to licence this establishment!

#10. Posted by Northern Guy on February 15, 2017

#3 this isn’t the south. By now we should all be acutely aware of the serious issues related to alcohol consumption and abuse in this community. Taking away one of the only safe dining options for families with kids is an issue. We all know that the concern in Iqaluit is and remains one of compliance and enforcement and that in the past this has been a serious issue for other establishments in town. I did not say that the Snack can’t legally serve alcohol (once it has obtained a license) so stop putting words in my mouth. What I did say was that if they do get a license they will lose my business.

#11. Posted by L on February 15, 2017

I have seen drunk or half cut people at the Snack even though they currently don’t have a liquor license. I also don’t think that they will miss your money if you choose to stop dining there. They are quite profitable as it is. If someone were to show up already intoxicated they can’t serve them. That’s the law. I hope they will practice that if they succeed in getting this license.

I think this is a good idea. As long as protocols are followed.

#12. Posted by Observer on February 15, 2017

OMG #1 you made me laugh. Maybe you should have said call the sedna
It’s sad how everyone sees alcohol as the devil. #2 you can go to big racks. They are not selling booze
And where is the beer and wine store. The citizens of iqaluit are sick of having to go out to have a drink. I would like to bring my legally purchased wine home

#13. Posted by Dad on February 15, 2017

I like taking my kids here because there is no alcohol there, I will have to consider taking them else where now. Big Racks you will have to make your dinning area bigger now.

#14. Posted by What on February 15, 2017

You guys and your safe dining options must not eat anywhere but snack.  Never do I eat at nav frob disco and have to run out the door with my kid because of something happening in the restaurant because of booze.  I actually see more intoxicated people in the snack than any other restaurant and they don’t serve booze yet because of the area it’s in within walking distance of stores and so much foot traffic.  People need to chill and if you don’t want a beer with your meal don’t order it.  But don’t try and block a business from another revenue source.  It’s not going to worsen any problem in town by having one extra restaurant to drink a beer at.

#15. Posted by Not a healthy choice. on February 15, 2017

Dear Snack-Cashing in on people’s addictions is just wrong (didn’t you know that alcohol is the most abused drug in Canada??) You already cater to the after party-drunk crowd-you do well on that front already-enjoy your successes. Enjoy how your tobacco delivery service-often to those who already can’t afford to smoke-makes your bank account healthier. Now-how many will have to make the choice to feed their addiction or feed their hunger when they can have a beer over fries. Dear Snack- do right by Iqaluit -the place that allows you and your families to have healthy financial lives- and do not do this. Let families and kids and people have a sober option in Iqaluit, make Iqaluit a healthier place.

#16. Posted by beer is good on February 15, 2017

omg.. its a beer or 2, like its says “i don’t know anyone who drinks three beers and goes crazy”

#17. Posted by Northern Guy on February 15, 2017

#6 you clearly have dining options, the sub-text to what you are saying is that my family shouldn’t and that my kids don’t count. I can’t remember the last time I saw a kid eating at the Disco. If you want a kid-free environment eat there and leave the few remaining alcohol-free restos to those of us with families. P.S. I don’t pay attention to innuendo and rumour perhaps you shouldn’t either.

#18. Posted by Too broke for Snack on February 15, 2017

Man the Snack has jumped up their prices so much since new ownership happened.  I love their food but I’m too broke to order from there now, how much will a can of beer cost, $12 bucks.  Snack, you guys already make millions in a year, bring your prices down a bit on food and up the prices on beer (y).

#19. Posted by Think about it on February 15, 2017

A 24 at 2am, what could go wrong?

#20. Posted by limit 3 or 4 on February 15, 2017

I don’t see an issue with serving beer at the snack. But the 3 to 4 limit seems like a little high for a burger and fries.  Most places have a limit where your beer/wine can not be more than 50% of your bill amount. This will help with ppl hanging out there to just drink. I believe all other food places in town have a % limit with drinking at their places.

#21. Posted by Hip on February 15, 2017

#12 you do realize that there is a huge problem with alcohol here in Iqaluit and in Nunavut? Or are you just thinking of yourself? There are enough places for you to go and have your beer with your food. 
“It’s not going to worsen any problem in town by having one extra restaurant to drink a beer at”
You must have a crystal ball or you think you know everything.
Leave snack as a alcohol free and keep it as a fast food restaurant.

#22. Posted by Native on February 15, 2017

There is not a huge alcohol problem in Iqaluit.

There is huge irresponsibility problem in Iqaluit.

#23. Posted by Qalunaaq on February 15, 2017

There is a huge social and cultural problem in Iqaluit.

Alcohol fuels this problem.

#24. Posted by Observer on February 16, 2017

There is a huge alcohol problem in Iqaluit. We know, but wethere the snack sells beer or not will not correct the problem. Yet people on here seem to think they can tell a business how to run. If snack wants to serve alcohol, then let them.
How many iqalumiuq drink scope, listening and other substances to get drunk. No one bitches about northmart or ventures selling those products. Even though there are alcohol free versions.

#25. Posted by Paul on February 16, 2017

#24 are you serious? Your comments! Do you really think about what you are saying? Give your head a shake!

#26. Posted by Duffman on February 16, 2017

Some of the alcoholics sure want this family friendly place to start serving beer, that is too bad, makes me think they don’t have a family of their own or really don’t care if they take them to a place where people are drinking. Everyone knows people will go there and have a burger and 4 beers, just another excuse to go somewhere to drink.
The atmosphere will change for sure, I won’t be taking my family there, with all the problems this town has, adding another place to drink is sure a dumb idea.

#27. Posted by Steve on February 16, 2017

It doesn’t matter if it’s ethical for snack (Danny Savard) to start serving beer at a fast food, bottom line if profit.
With all the problems here in Iqaluit, adding alcohol only makes it worse. I don’t think it will go ahead, there are smarter people who will review this and turn it down.

#28. Posted by Time to be adult, no? on February 16, 2017

Oh my goodness, the fear over a couple of beers is so insane. Come on people, let’s grow up okay?

#29. Posted by Adult on February 16, 2017

Yes! Grow up please, there are many places for you to go and drink, keep this a family friendly place to go without having to sit next to someone chugging down 3-4 beers with their burger.

#30. Posted by Northerner on February 16, 2017

You know the 3 or 4 beer limit will not be enforced properly, some will get more, their partner will order for them to have that one more and so on.

But I agree with #27 I believe the review process will turn them down with good cause.

#31. Posted by Grilled Cheese? on February 16, 2017

Iqaluit does not have an alcohol problem. We have a deep rooted problem of colonization= abuse, trauma and pain. Let us work on that together, this includes white people becoming more educated and taking ownership in their role of decolonizing.

#32. Posted by Seriously on February 16, 2017

You realize they’ll limit the amount of beers per person, they won’t sell to already intoxicated customers and they have to serve it WITH FOOD.

Are you seriously saying the Frob/disco/waters edge/etc are overflowing with Evil Alcoholics everyday? If someone is disorderly they kick them out, they stop serving them. These are businesses, they’re not going to just cater to alcoholics because that would hurt them.

Also if you seriously think that drunk/high people aren’t already going and eating at the snack (maybe even in greater quantities than other restaurants) then you’re delusional.

#33. Posted by Would like to know on February 16, 2017

#31 I’d like to know what does the role of white people in the process of de-colonization might look like to you?

#34. Posted by Jo on February 16, 2017

#31…the land is still out there, you can always go live there again. Southern (because many are not white) people are here to stay and in Iqaluit will likely outnumber local people in a very few years. I agree that people who come here to live need some education, but to get out of the cycle of abuse, trauma etc. local people need to value education more. Parents need to be actively involved in their kids’ education and until this happens for a generation or two nothing will change. Blaming your woes on colonization does not work as well as taking responsibility to better yourself and educate your children.

#35. Posted by What ??? on February 16, 2017

#34 - Jo

Excellent comment!

#36. Posted by That Guy on February 16, 2017

from what I read in the comments, I’m thinking if The Snack were able to get a permit and follow through with this, there would be a lot of kids eating healthier. this would be a benefit for the children of the commenters by eating less greasy food. And I don’t see any harm in getting a permit for that place, I’m sure they would follow through with their restrictions.

#37. Posted by Yall on February 16, 2017

Yall was living in communities when I was born. Crap that happened in the 50, 60, 70 and most of the 80 cannot be blamed on me or my skin colour.
No one my age or younger have been forced off the land, been sent to residential schools, or had their dogs slaughtered.
If you don’t want snack to serve booze, than you should offer to buy it from the owner. Or better yet open your own restaurant.

#38. Posted by Ann on February 16, 2017

#34 it is easy for you to say just go back to the land, sorry but that is not easy to do anymore today, after being colonized, your culture ripped apart, your traditions taken away from you, being taken away from home at a early age to be assimilated into the western way, you have the gall to say “the land is still out there, you can always go live there again.”
You do need a lot more education on what has happened up here and continues to happen. I agree education is key but also reclaiming our culture language and traditions are just as important too.
Tolerance and sensitivity would help

#39. Posted by Ben on February 16, 2017

#34 I agree with most of what your wrote but the beginning is kind of ignorant and not thought out more.

#40. Posted by Umilik on February 16, 2017

The most disturbing statements come from those who believing the snack prepares and serves actual, ah-hum, food. But that’s for another topic of conversation.

Booze or not, I didn’t know vanilla ice cream was so versatile.

#41. Posted by Curious on February 16, 2017

#38 How do you reclaim your culture when you are completely submersed in Western culture? It’s hard to see what that might look like, let alone what it might mean. Any thoughts?

#42. Posted by Jo on February 16, 2017

#38…and others too…I did not say anyone should go back to living on the land. I understand what has happened in Nunavut. That said, if someone decided to go back to their traditional way of life they could do so.

I was replying to #31 who thinks somehow white (and let me stress many newcomers to Nunavut are not white) people should do something to take a role in “decolonizing” which as I see it amounts to Inuit reverting back to their traditional way of life.

I fail to see how white people who live here now had anything to do with what was done to your people 50-100 years ago. How do you want us to change what happened? I personally think it was horrible, but other than understand it and the impact it has had there is not much I can do, except in how I deal with people in my working life and by volunteering where I can.

#43. Posted by Between Two Worlds on February 16, 2017

As I was reading the comments, as I loath to do (the spelling and grammar absolutely makes me sad) the far more pressing matter I found was that we are a city trying to come together to help these businesses stay afloat.  Of course, The Snack, as a business, would be looking to how to make their revenue grow.  It’s hard enough to keep the businesses we have in town from going under.

Children learn how society works only from what they have seen and how they have been taught through their parents.  They weren’t born with inherent understanding of how a society works. 

Is having a beer with a meal so bad?  In the more structured world; “No”; they having the years to get used to it daily and not freaking out about it.  People can drink and still be responsible.

#44. Posted by Scary on February 18, 2017

For those who may not know. Al promised a 4 drink limit at the Nav lounge back in the day. Although he kept his word when he was alive it clearly is not a promise a decision should be made on.

#45. Posted by So on February 18, 2017

So…what if a person who has already been drinking elsewhere, wanders in and can get 3 more beer?  How do you determine who can and who can’t and imagine the uproar in there, if you refuse somebody!!!!

#46. Posted by Duffman on February 19, 2017

#45 it’s just another excuse for people to go get drunk, some will just have a beer but there are those people who are already halfcut and will be looking to keep going.

#47. Posted by Cut-off on February 19, 2017

Yeah how does staff decide who should NOT be served, if they have already been drinking elsewhere - drunks can get pretty surley and loud if they are not served - that can create an awful atmosphere for others in there.      Not pretty.

#48. Posted by Hungry on February 20, 2017

I’d like to order a snack burger and 4 beers please.

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