The sign above the doors of Hunter Street’s Terrace Bar now reads; ‘‘Closed in protest of unfair and inequitable license conditions and controls. Ask questions. Demand answers.’’
The Terrace Bar (occupying the space that many people will remember as The Gunfighters Rest) has bee serving cocktails, craft beer and wines to Novocastrian customers since June 2012. Yesterday owner Chris Hearn shut the doors in protest over what he believes are ‘‘unreasonable’’ liquor licensing laws in Newcastle.
The Newcastle Herald reported that;
Mr Hearn said his licence required him to have a security guard on the front door on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights after 8pm as an experiment.
After applying recently to have this condition lifted, he was told it would only be removed if he agreed to another seven conditions.
The two that would hurt his business most, Mr Hearn said, would be those prohibiting the sale of cocktails or unmixed spirits after 10pm.
‘‘The Terrace Bar has never had an alcohol-related incident,’’ he said. ‘‘In over 24 months of business, it has never had an issue, and neither have any of the other three small bars in Newcastle, as far as I’m aware.’’
He said his licence also included the requirement to close his rooftop at 10pm due to ‘‘potential noise complaints from developments which haven’t begun to be built’’.
‘‘I want to see reform in these conditions,’’ said Mr Hearn. ‘‘I want to see a new liquor accord for smaller venues and I want active participation from state government, New South Wales Police and Newcastle City Council.’’
If you are interested in hearing more about this, Adam Bandt, Councillor Osborne and Mr Hearn will hold a media conference on the issue on Thursday at 3.30pm in front of the Reserve Bar in the Hunter Street Mall.
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