Thirsty Liquor is still in hot seat
Thirsty Liquor’s distinctive orange roller doors were down last week, but for how long?
Formerly the Fantame Liquor Store, the bottle shop was at the centre of a Liquor Licensing Authority hearing on November 30. It was adjourned, likely until early next year, after it was revealed the owner was running the bottle shop and foodmarket next door as one business, which is illegal under the Sale of Liquor Act.
Matt Crawshaw, one of the organisers against Thirsty Liquor being granted a new licence, said it was great to see the doors down, but knew it would not be for long.
The store’s owner, Chiman Patel, will meet with Steve Sargent from Porirua Police and District Licensing Authority staff this week to prove that his business affairs are in order.
Mr Sargent says Mr Patel will need to show two separate businesses are operating, with different company names and tills, and evidence that employees from the foodmarket and bottle store are paid separately. A wall between the two stores and fewer opening hours will also be sought by police.
Mr Crawshaw says many residents and parents of children at Russell School, opposite Thirsty Liquor, feel ‘‘pretty rough’’ that Mr Patel got an adjournment, and can thus still keep trading, ‘‘through his own screw-up’’.
Ten objectors, out of 88 that had made submissions protesting the presence of the liquor store, did not get to give oral statements at the hearing because of the adjournment.
‘‘He’s got off on a technicality. The store was closed very promptly [last week] and we commend that, but he’ll be back trading over summer and there will still be those harmful effects for the community. It’s unfair and frustrating – there’s a sense of relief over the fact it’s closed right now, but not that justice has really been done.’’
Orange crush: The doors are down but not out at Thirsty Liquor. Its owner will meet with police this week to process a liquor licence renewal.