A new bar for younger patron is being opened in Kapiti Lights and the owners are moving to reassure the community it will be safe.
The Cock Bar, beside Monteith's, is undergoing a refit to provide a dual venue for older and younger patrons in the complex, co-owner Jamie Williams said.
"Having two venues enables us to provide offerings for young and old with Monteith's catering for a slightly older crowd and the Cock Bar providing a . . . safe place for younger revellers."
The announcement comes as Kapiti Lights bar Retro waits for a Liquor Licensing Authority decision on whether it will keep its licence after a hearing last week.
At the hearing, owner Mark Spiekerman volunteered to shorten the bar's opening hours from 3am to 2am - police calling for a 1am opening if the bar kept its on-licence.
Meanwhile Mr Williams said the community still needs a bar for younger people.
"The bars currently looking after the young people are not doing a good enough job, our own bar, Monteith's, included."
He said the Cock Bar will offer food, alcohol and "safe fun", and stick to a 1am closing time.
Extra flood lighting and CCTV cameras have been installed and with the police enforcing the liquor ban in the car park there are no longer groups of young people sitting around drinking alcohol, he said.
"The environment has completely changed and it's probably a good example of what proactive team work can achieve."
Mr Williams said other initiatives being rolled out include a food caravan outside for the late night snack, organised transport to get people home and the installation in the Cock Bar of ID scanning software.
The refit, the bar's liquor licences and other initiatives they have introduced have the support of police, Kapiti Coast District Council and the regional public health authority, he said.
"We've got a good proactive relationship with the police and the council through the Monteith's bar. We are also liaising with other community groups through a new police advisory council established by Deputy Mayor Roger Booth. We want to make sure we play our part in among the wider community to ensure people go out for the right reasons and have fun."
Mr Williams said Monteith's has run for three years and during that time police have visited the bar on many occasions.
"We have never failed in our obligations."
- Kapiti Observer
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