According to the report released this month, among Canada’s major cities St. John’s has the most bars per 10,000 population at 3.35.
Not only that, Newfoundland and Labrador tops the provincial list, too — with 3.87 bars per 10,000 people, followed by Quebec at 2.66.
Joella Lomond, executive director of the George Street Association, says that it’s no surprise to see St. John’s ranking so high.
“When we look at the Newfoundland people, it’s a tradition!” she told the Telegram. “We’re outgoing, personable people, we like to go out and have a good time. And of course, for a lot of people, that entails heading to George Street.”
Located in the heart of downtown St. John’s, the storied street is a drinker’s paradise, with a variety of more than two-dozen bars and pubs lining both sides of the street. From dance clubs to martini bars, the diversity draws in locals and tourists from far and wide.
Lomond says that the high concentration of bars in the one area is the cherry on top when it comes to the report.
“The bars aren’t spread out, so you don’t have to worry about going into one and then decide that you want to go someplace else and have to spend money on a cab. Since George Street is concentrated into one area, it gives people a lot of choices when they do want to go out and enjoy themselves.”
She says that the diversity and close-proximity of the bars is really good for business as well.
“We’re able to shut the street down and host these big events that single bars wouldn’t be able to do, like Mardi Gras or the George Street Festival.”
Not only is business booming for those on George Street, she added, but also for others in the downtown area.
She explained that a lot of people like to make a night out of heading downtown, for example grabbing a bite to eat at one of many restaurants, or seeing a show at Mile One before hitting the booze at one of the bars.
“We’re a well-known destination,” she said, “and one of the things that really appeals to organizers for conferences or travel groups coming here is the fact that we have an all-encompassing district, because they are planning their events throughout however long they’re here, and there’s so many different venues for them to spend their downtime in.”
With the bars in such close proximity to each other, it’s also easier for the RNC and Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. to monitor what happens on the street and in the clubs.
“One thing that’s not as well-known to the public is there’s a lot of information sharing between the bars, in terms of security, under-agers, or any kind of activities going on.” Lomond said. “All the bars are so close together and so many people know each other, it’s easier for them to get information out.”
“We like to give customers choices. Depending on if you like live music, a DJ or just regular music, George Street has it all. There’s just something there for everyone.”