Hospitality sector raises the bar

19:51, Dec 13 2013
Bar rules
BAR RULES: Some Christchurch bars are insisting on interesting rules and offenders could be kicked out or refused admission.

It might not be worth hitting the town tonight if you're a drama queen wearing Crocs and camouflage and you like to drink standing up.

Some Christchurch bars are insisting on interesting rules and offenders could be kicked out or refused admission.

Top of the list for explicit standards is The Last Word whiskey bar in New Regent St.

Co-owner T'Nealle Joie said her exacting regulations were about setting an atmosphere.

"It's probably uncommon in Christchurch but in Wellington it's quite common," she said.

The Last Word has six rules.


Patrons must be seated and groups of more than six people cannot sit together. You can call ahead 30 minutes in advance for a table to be held, but the bar will not take reservations.

Rule six requires voices to be kept to an appropriate volume and cellphone use to be limited.

"In a small place, it's really distracting to have people having really loud conversations," Joie said. "Most people love it because all the people who want to do that stuff go elsewhere."

Another stickler for standards is Mashina Lounge, under Christchurch Casino. Its dress code and behaviour requirements have been laid out on its website.

"Drama queens" and "tools" will not be tolerated. Nor will jandals, Crocs or steel-capped boots. Offensive slogans or designs on clothing are a no-no and if you are not military personnel, no military clothing.

Other Victoria St establishments have dress codes but none are as thorough as Mashina's.

Smash Palace, on the corner of Victoria St and Bealey Ave, has a significantly more relaxed approach to dress code - the only requirement being warm clothes for cold weather.

Smash Palace is almost entirely outdoors, and owner Johnny Moore said this rule was more about looking out for frozen customers than anything else.

"If you show up in a little dress in some weather you won't have a good time," he said. "I actually do think I could rent out collars and shoes on Victoria St for all the people who get turned away for dress code from other bars. I'd make a killing."

Moore also preferred customers to take their "explicit pashing" home where possible, having witnessed many an enthusiastic display of affection by intoxicated patrons.

When it comes to high-vis clothing, the responses from bars are mixed.

The Carlton allows it until 7pm and Tequila Mockingbird until about 10pm.

The Press