Blenheim bar puts ban on hoodies, caps

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 09:05 11/08/2014
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People wearing hoodies and caps will be denied entry to a Blenheim bar, in a bid to prevent troublemaking patrons.

An Express reader was appalled when she was told by door staff at Fairweathers Bar on Scott St she had to check her woollen dress coat and pay the $2 charge because the coat had a hood.

"You're not allowed in unless you pay $2 for them to hold your jacket, which seems bizarre in the middle of winter being that half the bar is outdoors," she said.

"I had no bag to carry my wallet and so was forced to carry this around in my hand . . . plus I was left worrying about my coat all night being left unattended."

But Fairweathers Bar owner Warren Croft said staff were addressing the dress standards of patrons after problems with new customers.

Since the closure of The Loft bar on Kinross St in June, Fairweathers was getting a "different element of customers", he said.

"Some of that element isn't complementary to our current clientele."

People wearing hoodies and baseball caps would not be allowed inside the bar in an attempt to keep the clientele standard up, he said.

"We've had a few issues," he said. "Some of our staff members have been threatened."

He would not comment further but said the problem began when The Loft bar closed.

Door staff were refusing entry to customers identified as troublemakers, Croft said.

"Changing the dress code was an easy way to initially do that," he said.

"I'm just trying to protect the establishment and our staff."

Police were aware of the problem and were working with staff to monitor customer behaviour.

"We don't have to give a reason for refusal of service or denying someone entry," he said.

"We're asking our regular customers to be a bit adaptable while we work through this problem."

He admitted the woman wearing a dress coat with a hood should not have been made to take it off and check it.

Some staff had been a bit strict with the new rule and needed to use their discretion, he said.

"At the end of the day, there's a difference between a nice jacket with a hood and a rough-style hoodie with the hood up and a baseball cap under it," he said. "We're just trying to create a friendly environment where people can have a safe and enjoyable time."

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