6 Aug 2013

DJ says bar restrictions will kill capital's cool reputation

9:44 pm on 6 August 2013

The Wellington City Council has been told restricting alcohol sales in Wellington's bars would kill its reputation as the coolest little capital in the world.

The council is hearing submissions on the policy, which would develop an entertainment precinct for Courtenay Place and Cuba Street. It would also restrict hours to some bars in the entertainment precinct to 3am, with other bars forced to close an hour earlier.

DJ Paul Marlow said on Tuesday he has already had gigs cancelled by bars which are closing as a result of the policy. He said a bar's main turnover is after 2am and most will not be able to survive earlier closing hours.

Hashigo Zake bar owner Dominic Kelly said the policy would discourage entrepreneurs from setting up new bars in the city. He said landlords would push up rent, which will curb hospitality growth by limiting the latest opening hours to Courtenay Place.

Tony Loveday, the owner of Bruhaus and Taphaus, said it is absurd that his bars would have to close at 2am, as they are 30 metres away from the entertainment precinct.

A hospitality group said the proposed alcohol policy does not put enough emphasis on drinkers' personal responsibility.

Trinity Group Holdings director Jason Deane said there is already a lot of regulation around alcohol consumption and there must be a balance between regulation and personal accountability.

Most submissions so far are against the policy.