Harlequin 'fantastic' say neighbours

SHELLEY ROBINSON
Last updated 16:00 27/02/2014
Harlequin Public House
DEAN KOZANIC

ROWDY RESTAURANT? Harlequin Public House on a Sunday afternoon. Nearby residents have complained about noise and smell from the restaurant, and are now opposing its bid for a permanent liquor license.

Jonny Schwass
DEAN KOZANIC/ Fairfax NZ
NEIGHBOUR DISPUTE: Harlequin Public House chef and co-owner will is preparing for a March 19 liquor licence hearing after neighbours have opposed the restaurant's application for a permanent licence.

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Don't tar us with the same brush.

That's the message from two occupants at The Metro Apartments who say not all of them are against the popular inner city restaurant's bid to get a liquor license.

The Harlequin Public House has been forced into a liquor licence hearing after neighbours at The Metro Apartments, only metres from the restaurant, objected to its bid for a permanent licence, claiming it was too noisy.

Chef and co-owner Jonny Schwass said he had made changes, including restricting diners outside from 9pm.

Objector Glen Steele said the changes did not go far enough for residents and he wanted the restaurant to return to indoor dining only. "They went on until 3.45am one evening."

But other neighbours at The Metro - Bonnie Blue-Bownes and city councillor Jamie Gough - said they have no issue with chef Jonny Schwass' Victoria St restaurant.

Since opening in August, Harlequin has hit the headlines with neighbours complaining about the smell from its spit roast and noise from Sunday afternoon live music sessions.

''I actually love the place. If you choose to live in the city then you choose to have the noise of the city and I think it is absolutely fantastic to hear the noise below.

"There is nothing better than sitting on my balcony and listening the the people below,'' said Blue-Bownes.

''It has to be said we don't have many things in the city, so Harlequin is fantastic,'' she said.

Gough took to Facebook to air his annoyance at neighbours complaining about noise from the restaurant.

''Enough of this nimby "not in my backyard" tripe. For crying out loud, you don't even have a bloody backyard.

"It's the central city. If you want a quiet backyard, I'd suggest you move to the white picket fences of suburbia or the country, or failing that [and possibly quite preferably], further afield.''

The hearing is set for March 19.

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