This Winnipeg 7-Eleven location will now serve alcohol

Winnipeggers will soon be able to buy booze along with their Slurpees. 

7-Eleven Canada announced it will add beer, wine, cider and ready-to-drink beverages to the menu at its 3031 Ness Avenue location in Winnipeg’s Sturgeon Creek neighbourhood.

The changes come after the convenience store chain was granted a liquor licence by the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba (LGCA) last month.

The store recently added a specific dining space, which can seat up to 10 age-verified customers who will be able to enjoy a glass of beer, wine, cider and other ready-to-drink beverages alongside their meal.

No date has been set for when this will begin, but 7-Eleven Canada said it will announce a launch date this summer. 7-Eleven has done this at several other locations in Alberta and Ontario, but this will be a first in Manitoba.

As for how a convenience store is allowed to sell alcohol in Manitoba, the LGCA tells CTV News it issued a liquor service licence to 7-Eleven, which is distinct from a liquor retail licence.

“The licence issued to 7-Eleven allows liquor service in the licensed area of a premise,” the authority said in a statement, adding people can consume liquor in the dining area or place an order for delivery or takeout.

“To be clear, a liquor service licence does not allow the retail sale of liquor or liquor to be sold off store shelves.”

Any Manitobans hoping to buy booze in other grocery or convenience store settings – don’t get your hopes up.

“The province remains 100 per cent committed to public liquor sales in Manitoba and has no plans to allow the sale of alcohol in private retail stores,” a provincial spokesperson told CTV News.

‘It’s going to be a bad idea’: Customers give mixed reactions to booze news

The whole thing is getting mixed reactions from some 7-Eleven customers CTV News spoke with Thursday.

“My first reaction is I guess it is progressive with the times. You’re seeing other provinces doing it,” said Joe Stover, who was stopping by the store Thursday. “I guess the big thing would be to make sure that any time alcohol is served anywhere where there is going to be all ages around, making sure that it is safe.”

While some customers were enthusiastic about the coming change, others were a little more skeptical.

“The safety of the staff – they’ve already had some robberies here before so I think, especially when you put alcohol in it, it’s going to be a bad idea,” said a long-time customer Diane Nicoletta.

“Daytime if you’re having chicken and fries or whatever and you’re having a glass of wine or a beer or whatever, that’s fine. But late in the evening – bad idea.”

7-Eleven Canada said it will be putting several controls in place to maintain a safe environment. The alcohol will be kept under lock and key and will only be served from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Staff at the store will be receiving mandatory Smart Choices training, and will be required to check the IDs of anyone who appears to be under 30.

The company did not say if it will be hiring security guards to be on site. It confirmed it has not submitted applications to LGCA to expand this service to any other locations in Winnipeg. 

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