New troops in bottle battle
A new player is creating a stir in one community's fight against the opening of a liquor store in the heart of their neighbourhood.
A trio of experienced hospitality entrepreneurs is considering leasing 515 Great North Rd in Grey Lynn and applying for a liquor licence to allow them to sell craft beer and boutique wine alongside takeaway coffee and non-alcoholic drinks.
A liquor licensing inspector is still assessing an application by Great Lynn Trading Ltd to open a bottle shop in the space, reported in Auckland City Harbour News, July 19.
More than 460 people have signed a petition opposing that application fearing it would only enhance the area's seedy reputation.
One of the applicants for the potential craft beer store, Fraser McInnes, who has cultivated a career in the brewing industry with Tuatara Brewery, says they would not stock any ready-to-drinks or other cheap liquor.
The trio contacted the Grey Lynn Residents Association to gauge any possible opposition to the idea.
"We don't want to end up getting locked in to a three-year lease without being able to get a liquor licence," Mr McInnes says.
They haven't signed anything and are still looking at other options where they can open a store, he says.
Residents association spokeswoman Liz Hancock says at the moment members do not plan to object to an application for a craft beer store.
But Grey Lynn Neighbourhood Support area co-ordinator Soala Wilson says bringing other potential applicants in to the mix while Great Lynn Trading's application is still being assessed is only exacerbating the situation.
"Everyone needs to just calm down. We haven't finished with the first application yet. It's still ongoing, it hasn't been withdrawn."
Ms Wilson would like to see concerned residents and business owners concentrating their efforts on fighting the application by Great Lynn Trading.
Housing New Zealand Surrey Crescent Retirement Village residents, whose homes sit opposite the site, say any type of bottle shop will only mean more bad news for their neighbourhood.
Resident Sue Williams says she has to put up with people gathering outside the units drinking and fighting at night.
"We don't need any more liquor stores to make it worse.
"The noise gets so bad and we have to wake up to broken bottles and cans in our gardens."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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