Liquor Licence Granted Despite Opposition
A café in Fremantle, located on South Terrace, South Fremantle has won approval to serve alcohol despite tough opposition from a local resident and her supporters.
The resident argued that granting the liquor licenced would cause ill health, annoyance to neighbours and inconvenience to the community. The “The Corner Room” café currently trades as an unlicensed café and restaurant however a liquor licence has been granted which will see the venue now adding alcohol to its menu.
The applications approval was in question when a local resident of Fremantle opposed the application, gaining 160 signatures on a petition and being supported by the local council, their concerns however did not stop the licence from being issued.
Some of the concerns cited by residents included noise concerns, smoke being emitted from the smoking section of the venue and the negative impact a bar would have on the community.
An article from www.theShout.com.au explains more:
A neighbouring resident opposed the bid by owners Dean Dalessio and Nick Spano to obtain a small bar licence for the venue, which was resoundingly supported by the local council and a petition of 160 people.
The resident claimed her son was already having difficulty sleeping because of the noise from the café, which closes at 10.30pm. She said smoke from the café’s outdoor area, which is 15 metres away from her house, was aggravating his asthma.
The resident argued the café was already having various impacts on amenity for residents and that the grant of a small bar licence would cause property values to fall.
Dean Dalessio, who co-owns the Corner Room with Nick Spano, told TheShout that the café is family-oriented and most of its patrons are aged between 45 and 65.
“She was carrying on like we are a nightclub in the heart of Fremantle,” he said.
Despite the owners reassurance that the venue would not be a club but remain a “family orientated” café, even the Commissioner of Police opposed the application saying that because Fremantle attracted a lot of “at risk” groups such as indigenous and fly-in/fly-out workers granting a liquor licence in this area would not be a good idea for the wellbeing of the neighbourhood.
He also warned that the proposed change from a café/restaurant to a licensed small bar may see the clientele change and attract these at risk groups which have an even greater impact on the neighbourhood.
He went on to advise that if the licence was granted, the venue should impose strict restrictions such as a ban on shots and people wearing outlaw motorcycle gang clothing.
The owners have said that they have an upmarket venue which would continue to serve high end wines and boutique beers, especially because most of its patrons were middle-aged and these are the drinks that they preferred. The resident who opposed the application has since moved from the area and according to Dalessio the new neighbour is completely in favour of the liquor licence.The owner went on to state, according to the article:
“We were a bit disappointed by how long it’s taken us as it’s cost us a lot of money,” he said.
“We’ve had to trade with just food and we’re just keeping our head above the water with all the money we spent on renovation.”
Liquor Commission of WA chairman Jim Freemantle late last month dismissed the resident’s objection to the liquor licence, finding the small bar licence was in the public interest.
So it looks like this one worked out for all parties, let’s hope that start up licenced venues and those converting from unlicensed restaurants are aware of their Responsible service of alcohol duties and ensure that they are earnestly enforced at the venue by all employees and management.