Goodbye Good George after complaint
A ‘‘disgruntled neighbour’’ opposing a liquor licence has seen the closure of a popular Whangamata bar and cafe.
Popular Waikato craft brewery, Good George, closed George’s Bach on April 1 after opposition to a liquor licence would have limited the bar and cafe to only 45 people.
The opposition came from a disgruntled neighbour who took exception to the sudden popularity of the venue, Good George said.
Stuff contacted the neighbour, who lives in Auckland but also owns a property in Whangamata, who said they didn’t want to comment publicly about their complaint.
Co-owner Kevin Flynn said being limited to 45 people on site would make for ‘‘an unviable business’’.
‘‘We’re gutted. After trying to work with the opposer and council to find a way for us to continue trading and looking after our locals, it’s just not possible so we’ve got to close the doors.’’
Flynn said Good George ‘‘know there’s a huge appetite for good food and beer in a relaxed setting in [Whangamata]’’.
‘‘And we know we’ve got a formula that this town likes.’’
Whangamata local Dave Heads said he would deeply miss the bar and cafe.
‘‘It was nice to get a place [in Whangamata] that was reasonable and chill.’’
He said it catered to what the locals needed and he questioned why anyone would stop it.
Another patron, Brandon Dromgool, said he had tried to go to George’s Bach ‘‘the other day, but I was turned away because of the 45 person rule’’.
‘‘I can’t see what the issues are ... they’ve got a great set up and it will be a shame to see it go.’’
Local business association Enterprise Whangamata secretary Julie McNee said she never liked to see businesses shut down.
‘‘It’s important to see businesses in all the premises doing well.’’
She said it would not have made a difference if George’s Bach was located more in the town centre because the site had been a restaurant ‘‘long before’’ the bar and cafe opened on the site.
Thames-Coromandel District Council compliance and licensing manager Brian Taylor said the application for an alcohol licence was withdrawn by the applicant before a decision was made, and resource consent for the site already restricts patron numbers to 45.
George’s Bach opened on Ocean Road in December. Another local business, Mizzoni Pizza, provided the food served at the premise.