No bellydancing for Waiheke cafe

STEVE HOPKINS
Last updated 10:55 14/11/2012

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A Waiheke Island cafe has failed to get a tavern licence for special events - including belly dancing nights - because of objections from neighbours.

When applying to renew its liquor licence, Delight on Waiheke Rd, Oneroa, asked the Liquor Licensing Authority to extend the hours it was allowed to serve alcohol in the outdoor area from 9pm to 11pm and for a tavern style licence.

The cafe told the authority it had no intention of turning the venue - opposite the cafe formerly known as the Lazy Lounge - into a local pub.

''From time to time, particularly over the summer period, visitors to the cafe express interest in purchasing a glass or bottle of wine without food and as part of the Waiheke experience it would be very beneficial to be able to offer this,'' the café application said.

The licence would also allow it to put on impromptu events, such as belly dancing, Mediterranean tapas nights, private functions and fundraising events - something the current restaurant licence didn't permit.

Currently the café has to get a special licence which takes four weeks to process. The cafe didn't believe an extension in the outdoor serving hours would ''adversely impact'' neighbours.

"We are totally in control of our premises and its operation and are vigilant in terms of any potential disruption to the area''.

Three residents objected to Delight's proposal, including immediate neighbours who have lived there for 28 years. They said any change to the liquor licence would ''impact strongly" on their lifestyle.

The neighbours believed the extended drinking hours would attract boaties. 

In a decision released yesterday the authority said the processing time for a special licence would not ''unduly inconvenience'' Delight cafe, which had previously never applied for one.

It said if the cafe was granted a tavern licence it would allow it to ''dramatically change'' the way it operates and if it became a ''local pub'' that would significantly impact neighbours.

''The congregation at the premises of boaties and other persons whose object is simply to consume liquor would become an inevitability,'' the decisions reads. 

Delight's liquor licence was renewed but the request to vary hours was denied as was the application for a tavern licence.

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- Auckland Now

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