Thirsty Liquor lease ended
A contentious liquor store located near a school in Waitangirua will close next month, but its advertising has again raised the ire of the community.
Thirsty Liquor and foodmarket owner Chiman Patel confirmed to Kapi-Mana News last week that his landlord had not renewed the lease of the Fantame Street stores. Both will close in the last week of April.
‘‘It’s very sad, I have been there nine years. It is just bad luck.’’
Mr Patel does not believe negative publicity surrounding the business’ hours of operation and aggressive advertising led to the landlord’s decision.
The store was the subject of a Liquor Licensing Authority hearing in late 2011, when it was revealed he was running the food and alcohol as one business. Over 100 people marched to the Porirua District Court prior to the hearing, calling for the liquor store to be closed, and a dozen made submissions against its liquor licence being renewed.
Mr Patel agreed to cut the operating hours so it would not be open when Russell School children were arriving and leaving for the day.
Russell School board of trustees chairman Matt Crawshaw said while they regretted that livelihoods could be affected by the shops’ closure, it was an inappropriate location for a liquor store.
‘‘We’ve noticed a huge [positive] difference in the neighbourhood since the hours were reduced. This was always about community safety and the effects that alcohol has on this area.’’
Mr Crawshaw has contacted the District Licensing Authority, however, about the stock-clearing sale Mr Patel is holding. He said the significant increase in advertising, including the use of a ‘ specials’ whiteboard, demonstrated there was not really a change in business practice.
‘‘They said and did the right things while the eyes of the LLA were on them, [ but] the old ways have returned. The enticement that prices [are] ‘below cost’ is unacceptable, especially opposite a school.
‘‘I would not expect he is doing anything illegal but I would want someone to have a conversation with him about what is happening. At the very least it’s encouraging people to buy in excess.’’
Mr Patel said most of the stock was not below cost and he had no plans to take the signage down.
He has plans to open a liquor store in the Porirua city centre.
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New signage: A whiteboard advertising closing down specials at Thirsty Liquor in Cannons Creek has been branded unacceptable by some quarters of the community.