Office bar fights to keep its liquor license

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The Office bar on Main Street is trying to get its liquor license renewed.

David Unwin / Tips

The Office bar on Main Street is trying to get its liquor license renewed.

Palmerston North Central city bar The Office faces an opposition to the renewal of its license and a request to extend the supervised area behind its garden bar.

Two public objections to the request were withdrawn before a district licensing committee hearing began on Thursday.

But Licensing Inspector Lynne Kroll, who previously had not opposed the request, told the hearing that she is now recommending renewal.

Kroll’s concerns included reports of two incidents reflecting manager Martin Wang’s ability to hold a license.

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In one case, police went to the bar at the request of Safe City hosts asking for help dealing with the crowds that had apparently turned up to witness a fight, and Wang could not be contacted. .

Police were told he was sleeping in his office when he should have been on duty.

Wang said it was probably said as a joke. He had not responded to messages to come down because his walkie-talkie was not working, he said.

In another incident, police found him in a car on King Street, a few blocks from the bar, and were so concerned about his drunkenness that they took him to hospital. .

Wang said he was off duty at the time. A member of the security staff drove him home but did not know where he lived and parked the car in King St.

Police had filed a letter opposing the request, but withdrew it, satisfied management improvements had helped reduce disorderly incidents at Main St.

Palmerston North Office Bar faces opposition to renewing its liquor license.

David Unwin / Tips

Palmerston North Office Bar faces opposition to renewing its liquor license.

Kroll said the committee should consider whether granting the license renewal would affect the amenity and good order of the area.

She said it was already badly affected, with incidents of violence and disorder.

His search of police records over the past year revealed 449 calls in the Main Street area, 105 of which directly related to The Office, and 147 could not be traced to any particular location.

Safe City Host reports during the year mentioned The Office in 36 reports.

“The applicant is not fit to continue to hold a license. The risk of granting a renewal is too great for the safety of the community, ”she said.

Kroll was also concerned that Wang had not been made aware of changes to the status of service manager certificates for bar staff, including appointments, cancellations and layoffs.

An earlier request to expand the rear garden bar area was rejected by the licensing committee in July 2018.

Wang also requested the renewal of his director’s certificate, which the committee also had to review and make a decision.

Wang’s representative, Alyn Higgins, said there did not appear to be any specific objections to the renewal, pending a decision on the liquor license.

He said Wang deserved an opportunity over the next 12 months to prove that he would implement the improvements required of him regarding the management of the premises, and to document staff training and the status of their certificates.

He said Wang took charge of the issues raised and set about working on his own relationship with alcohol.


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