Why tavern licence was declined
A shambolic performance cost Cannons Creek’s Mix tavern its licence at two court hearings last month.
Bar owner Naginbhai Neil Patel did not impress Judge John Hole of the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority, according to the judge’s report.
‘‘The evidence of the applicant was riddled with inconsistencies,’’ he said.
‘‘ The applicant has failed to establish on any basis that it can carry out the responsibilities that go with the holding of an onlicence.’’
Mr Patel, who owns Wellington’s Shalimar dairy, has never run a bar before, but told Judge Hole he expected it to be the same as running a Four Square offlicence.
During the hearing it emerged Mr Patel had visited Bedford St only four or five times at night, and did not know what a ‘‘one-way door policy’’ was.
That is when patrons are allowed out, but not into, a bar in the wee hours of the morning.
Only one of Mr Patel’s proposed staff had bar experience, but that person would be a chef rather than a manager at the Mix, Judge Hole said.
What’s more, there was an immigration issue hanging over one of Mr Patel’s potential senior managers.
Mr Patel told authorities he imagined his bar being like Wellington’s Southern Cross, but Judge Hole said the Mix’s premises and clientele would be totally different.
Mr Patel said he wanted to run a gastropub, but all signs pointed to the Mix being a tavern, Judge Hole said.
A tavern licence was applied for rather than a restaurant licence, and the premises would hold 455 people.
‘‘The applicant seemed to have little idea of exactly what is proposed for the premises,’’ Judge Hole said.
‘‘It was interesting to observe how the food menu changed its nature as the application progressed through the bureaucratic channels to a hearing.
‘‘Again, this indicated that the applicant had not thought this application through when lodging it.’’
Mr Patel produced supporting references from an unnamed MP, but it turned out that person was unaware how his reference would be used.
‘‘Other testimonials were similarly misused,’’ Judge Hole said.
The other major reason for Judge Hole’s refusal of the Mix’s licence was the effect it would have on neighbouring schools and social services.
‘‘To place a tavern in the midst of this campus will inevitably frustrate at least some of the useful work being undertaken by these agencies,’’ Judge Hole said.