Anyone craving onion rings at midnight will have to wait until sunrise to get their fast food fix.
City council passed a bylaw amendment Tuesday that restricts restaurants from operating drive-thru services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Instead, drive-thrus will only be allowed to remain open between 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The bylaw essentially only affects one business. The A&W restaurant in Railtown, which has the only drive-thru in the city, was grandfathered in after a 2013 council decision to keep more drive-thrus from operating in Nelson.
Councillor Valerie Warmington, who was not on council five years ago, said the reasons for the restriction then are the same as now.
“The rational that I’ve read was that they wanted people to get out of their cars and use the downtown,” she said. “That we didn’t want to be one of those cities where everyone just drives in, drives through and drives out. That we really wanted people to come into town, get out of their cars, walk around, and see things and enjoy the businesses that are here.”
Warmington said another factor in the decision was the city’s plan for Railtown, which includes the addition of approximately 140 residential units over the next decade.
A&W’s drive-thru hours are currently 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The restaurant had previously asked council to consider 24-7 service that would have begun this month.