Here at Newcastle Live, we’ve talked a lot about the impact of the lockout laws and what it has meant and does mean, to the nightlife here in Newcastle. What we haven’t really talked a lot about though, are the little things. Because sometimes life is about the little things. It’s especially about the little things when you’re a hospo worker and you’ve been pouring beers, shaking cocktails, and making the weekend hopes and dreams of locals come true. It’s about the little things when, on a rare occasion, you knock off at around midnight (early mark yasss) and you want to treat yourself. You want to wind down a little and maybe make some hopes and dreams of your own come true.
Sometimes though, the tinny you slipped in your backpack on the way out the door just won’t cut it. Sometimes the only thing that will, is a swirling pool of paradise (with or without an umbrella) that will have you hashtagging #takemeback quicker than you can say Contiki 2009. But unluckily for you, and for surrounding businesses, you can’t get a cocktail after 10pm.
Before I go any further though, I will say I’m still on the fence about the lockout laws and associated guidelines. I think there are valid arguments both for and against, but this piece of writing is really an attempt to bring to light the effect such guidelines and limitations have, on those who work within the industry.
It’s very easy to forget that hospitality workers are in fact people too. They have lives, homes, bills to pay and exist on this earth for reasons other than to simply make other people happy from 5 pm on a Friday. Which also means they themselves like to enjoy a drink or two when their time comes. But whilst others in major metropolitan cities can live their lives free of micromanagement, here in Newcastle we seem to be stuck in this bubble of rules and regulations with no end in sight.
The lockout laws and liquor guidelines (unfortunately named the Newcastle solution) have only just been reassessed and although the safety and wellbeing of patrons and punters are apparently at the forefront of the plan itself, there are definitely some oversights. And sure, it’s easy to say that not being able to get a cocktail after 10 pm isn’t that big of a deal, but nothing drives you to drink like serving people on a Friday evening, who have nothing but the weekend ahead of them. Just a drank for thought really.