Friday marks the grand opening of a new downtown kitchen and craft beer tasting room.
‘Kask’ is the newest downtown development and Owner, Ross Birchall has officially rented out the last vacant spot on 4th Avenue. “Fourth avenue is full now, we have several other businesses that will be opening by the end of the year and starting in January and February,” he said. “It gives it a real optimistic outlook for the future of downtown.”
Expansion in the downtown is booming. Within the last five years, Nancy O’s, The Copper Pig, and The Black Clover have all opened up. CrossRoads Brewing is expected to open up soon and Birchall says the businesses all complement each other. “When people know they can go to an area for one thing, maybe it’s entertainment, maybe it’s dining, maybe it’s retail, then these districts start to form and it’s actually good for business and everybody wins.”
Mayor Lyn Hall says the addition of more businesses in the downtown could also mean even more people deciding to live there. “We’re also now being put in a position where it gives us another alternative to propose for student housing and downtown housing for the residents of Prince George, so it’s a real plus,” Hall said.
Not to mention, Birchall says there are some new regulations in place for Kask which will see the bar extend its liquor services. “Right now we’re the only food primary liquor license in BC that can be open until 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays.”
Hall says he’s following the suit of other communities who are looking at longer hours of service. “I think that’s another piece that will really benefit our ability to do something around pro-development, and redevelopment, revitalization of the downtown.”
Although Kask may be replacing an old business, Birchall mentions that it brings with it under 20 new jobs and a staff that is expected to grow. “It creates that cycle that you need in the economy so there’s the employment aspect of that and there’s that economic driver for surrounding businesses, it’s also increasing property values.”