Bar owner not beaming yet
It’s arguably Tokoroa’s most exciting business venture in years but it’s owner might not be able to open due to disagreement with council over an exposed beam.
Wawa Eatery owner Lorraine Young said the council’s refusal to sign-off the bar was ‘‘ludicrous’’ and sai they needed to ‘‘wake-up’’.
Young has spent several months working on her new restaurant and bar in Bridge St.
With its trendy industrial theme it’s an eatery that would not seem out of place in up-market Ponsonby.
She was now ready to open in time for Christmas. The council, however, was now refusing to let her.
That’s because of an exposed beam above the bar area potentially catching dust and falling into drinks - something Young said was not questioned when the council granted its initial consent several months prior.
‘‘Environmental health manager John Anderson later came for an inspection of the floor which needed to be raised and saw the beam and said ‘enclose that girder’.’’
‘‘By that stage we had already done all the lighting, the bar structure, the floors had been raised, and the plumbing was in so I said I wouldn’t do it..’’
‘‘There are examples of designs like this all over New Zealand that councils have passed but he says I can’t keep it clean. Honestly,’’ she said.
She was now taking the issue to the Ministry for the Environment.
‘‘I am really angry because it is what I wanted, it is a theme, and it is good for the town. We were trying to open by Christmas but it has delayed us and we can’t hire staff,’’ she said.
‘‘Some say it is a zombie town but it is not a zombie town, it is a zombie council, and they need to wake up and realise that it is this sort of thing that puts businesses off from coming here.’’
South Waikato District Council communications manager Kerry Fabrie said the council’s hands were tied.
‘‘Under the Food Hygiene Regulations, Schedule 1 (Requirements for registration of premises), clause 4 (ceilings b), it states under ‘All trusses shall be completely enclosed’.
Council cannot register a premises if the premise does not comply with Schedule 1,’’ she said.
Fabrie said the initial approval for the business was subject to it complying with regulations.
Lorraine Young below an exposed beam which is preventing her from opening her new restaurant and bar in Tokoroa