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.