Actually a good decision

The Herald reports:

The forced closure of an South Dunedin bar is an attack on its patrons, the publican says.

Following a hearing last month the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (Arla) has cancelled the Heffs Hotel’s on-licence and publican Stephen Clark’s managers licence.

Police alleged patrons were intoxicated and were argumentative and abusive when they visited the bar in March after an anonymous tip-off.

Last year the bar was forced to close for a week and Clark and duty manager at the time Jessie Matheson were banned from selling alcohol for six and eight weeks respectively.

There was a solemn mood in the bar when the Otago Daily Times visited yesterday, with many patrons saying they were devastated by the decision.

If a liquor outlet constantly violates the laws around alcohol sale, then it should and will lose its license. If you read the decision you’ll find:

  • two previous suspensions
  • a gang brawl on the premises
  • has opened outside licensed hours
  • the owner/duty manager intoxicated while in charge of the bar
  • duty manager has no certificate
  • on one occasion the duty manager was the cleaner!
  • no food on the menu could actually be supplied, just five heat and eat meals
  • the entire bar being full of intoxicated people after hours

At the second suspension, they were warned another strike would probably see the license cancelled.


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