All Blacks' victory is Hamilton's victory

Biggest night for bars, restaurants across the city

AMANDA PARKINSON AND LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 05:00 23/06/2014
all blacks fans
Mark Taylor / Fairfax NZ

PRE-GAME HIGH: Jim Livett (front) got into an appropriate frame of mind for the All Blacks’ clash with England at The Quadrant Bar with his mates. At rear from left are Ed Radcliffe, Peter Barr, Murray Sturgeon, Rob Keary and Josef Schreiner.

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Punters flocked to Hamilton pubs and clubs, as well as Waikato Stadium on Saturday night, to watch the All Blacks create history.

And after the 36-13 victory, fans flooded out of the stadium and took to the town to celebrate, delighting hospitality bosses throughout the city.

John Lawrenson, the chief executive of the city's largest hospitality brand Lawrenson Group, said several of the company's bars recorded their biggest night.

"It was The Bank's biggest night in 20 years of trading . . . Keystone also recorded its biggest night."

Lawrenson said he thought there was a large police presence in the city but intoxication was quite low.

"Hamilton really turned it on . . . and the crowd were all pretty well behaved."

The Bank Bar and Brasserie manager Megan Mabey said the night was "insanely busy".

"We did upwards of 170 main meals. A usual Saturday we might do 110."

The brand's nightclub also recorded $20,000 more than usual as people continued to celebrate the All Blacks' crushing win over England, she said.

For Danny Group's House on Hood, CBD and Rodeo Rodeo, it was a similar story.

CBD Corner Pub manager Georgia Gorie said Saturday was "crazy" busy and she expected the same on Sunday.

"It was just constant all day, we saw them coming in early before the game, then during and then after. People were just substituting each other throughout the night," she said.

Senior Sergeant Andrew O'Reilly of the Hamilton police said it was a busy night for the boys in blue but relatively "uneventful".

O'Reilly said he thought people still needed to understand the impact of drinking too much.

"Obviously people have not got the message, because there are still a number of people sobering up in the cells," he said yesterday.

But for one group of people, the night was no bigger than average - emergency department staff at Waikato Hospital.

The number of people who presented was "typical" or even slightly below normal for a Saturday night, the hospital's on-call duty group manager Barbara Garbutt said.

The spread of ailments they came with was also nothing out of the ordinary.

However yesterday afternoon proved busy - as Sunday afternoons often did - with around 67 people in the emergency department just before 3pm.

That could have been an indication of the number of visitors in town, she said.

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- Waikato Times

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