Friday, July 19, 2013

Sandwiches closing

Wellington venue Sandwiches is closing down amid major concerns over earthquake strengthening, reports Stuff. Twelve staff are affected by the closure of Sandwiches and associated restaurant Pickle, happening August 3.

"... Owner Bryce Mason said he had been in discussions with both the landlord and Wellington City Council over the last few months, but in recent weeks it became clear the building needed "major" work.

"It's going to need four to six months worth of work and it would just be impossible to continue trading during that. We looked at a scenario where they could fix Sandwiches, then Pickle, but it just wouldn't work."

... The impending changes to Wellington's alcohol laws also complicated the situation, with bars likely to face mandatory 4am closures over the summer once the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act changes come into play.

Until Wellington develops a local alcohol policy, bars will be forced to comply with the default closing hours set by central government. "It's not viable for Sandwiches to close for six months then reappear again," Mason said.

"The 4am closure from December means there isn't a positive scene to come back to anyway. It's not a pretty picture at the moment."

ADDED: I've been told Sandwiches was on the wrong side of the road for a new proposed 'golden licencing area' in Welllington. So was going to run into problems with that soon enough.

From the Dominion Post "... The [Wellington City Council's] draft policy originally included different on-licence hours within two "entertainment precincts", in Courtenay Place and Cuba St, which could trade from 7am to 3am, or 5am for "best- practice" premises. Other inner- city bars would be restricted to 7am to 2am, or 3am for best- practice ones.

Instead, councillors voted for one wider "entertainment precinct", taking in areas between Courtenay Place and Cuba St. Currently, the latest bars close about 6am..."

The new policy is due to take effect on later this year.  "Under law changes to take effect on December 18, the default position for opening hours throughout the country will be 7am to 11pm for off-licences and 8am to 4am for on-licences. But councils can introduce their own local alcohol policies setting variations on those hours...."

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