Hotel’s opening hours restricted

Hotel general manager Jason Antczak said he was ‘frustrated’ with last week’s decision, which knocked back the proposed closing times of 11.45pm on Monday to Saturday and 10pm on Sunday.

‘On a hot summer’s night, if you’re having dinner at 7.30pm and you’re asked to leave, it’s just not operationally sound,’ Mr Antczak said. ‘If you look at The Paddington, Fibber McGee’s and Duende alfresco, they’re all permitted to stay open with alcohol virtually until closing, which is midnight. There is just no consistency.

‘We’ll withdraw the application.’

Mr Antczak said the hotel trialled the alfresco area during winter, weather permitting, despite some councillors saying they did not see it.

‘It was pretty unfair that councillors said they went by and it wasn’t there. They have to remember the hotel is only open Wednesday through Saturday and of course, if you come by after 5.30pm it would have been closed because we didn’t want to run the risk of people sitting down and ordering a meal and then going inside,’ he said.

Several councillors said they supported the hotel’s redevelopment but not the extended al fresco hours because of the large numbers of patrons that frequented the venue and later queued at the taxi rank.

Some suggested closing the alfresco area at 6.30pm.

Cr John Carey described their reaction as ‘nanny-ism at its worst’.

‘This is an outdoor eating area, not just a drinking spot. This is done in great cities around the world ” are we being completely over-reactive on this issue?’ he said.

He added there had not been any serious recent problems in Leederville concerning anti-social behaviour and the hotel redevelopment would cater for a more discerning clientele.

The $3-4million redevelopment to modernise the hotel and attract a more mature crowd later this year will go ahead and Mr Antczak said he would reapply for the permit after its completion.