Thirsty Liquor is still in hot seat

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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