Howick residents are up in arms over the planned expansion of licensing hours for a local café.
The Apothecary Café, on Picton St, wants to serve alcohol between 8am and 2am, seven days a week.
Gayleen Mackereth, chairwoman of the Howick Residents and Ratepayers Association, has filed an objection with the Auckland Council District Licensing Agency.
Mackereth said a survey of a third of the association's 200 members showed the vast majority were ''strongly opposed'' to the extension of the cafe's hours with only three supporting it.
She said people were concerned about possible drinking at 8am with a kindergarten and church nearby and that drinkers might use the cafe after other venues in the area stoped serving.
Apothecary co-owner Ted Waters said their licence hours would not be the cafe's trading hours and he does not use all the midday to midnight hours of his current liquor licence.
The extended hours would allow the business to serve alcohol at private functions later and sell a glass of champagne with breakfast.
The cafe's other owner Gillian O'Brien said their patrons were responsible and generally aged 30-plus.
''It's groups of women who catch up,'' she said.
''It's couples. It's families - it's not so much kids - it's a brother and sister catching up.''
The cafe has had no problems with police in the year it has held a liquor licence.
O'Brien said the cafe has taken the lease on the premises next door and plans to create another dining area and expand its kitchen and toilets.
She said there were two types of liquor licence - restaurant and tavern - and the cafe had applied for a tavern licence so its patrons could, for example, enjoy a glass of wine before heading to the Monterey Cinemas.
With a restaurant licence the cafe must serve food with any alcohol sold.
Howick Local Board member Jim Donald supports the Apothecary's plans.
''This is the type of difference that Howick's been known for that attracts people to this community - keeping Howick Village economically viable,'' he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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