The concern came as the committee narrowly recommended allowing a property at 1 Manning Street to change its use from a restaurant to a tavern. If approved by full council this week, the former Jimmy Dean’s Diner will change its name to Scarborough Beach Bar and Restaurant.
Director Paul Squires, who has spent $27,000 on planning the new business, put $400,000 into refurbishing the kitchen.
The change of use was not supported by the local community, with 15 written objections and a petition with 85 valid signatures against the proposal received, and just one submission in favour of the development.
Most referenced a fear of a return to the ‘bad old days’ of Scarborough. But council officers noted that ‘based on information submitted with the subject application there is no evidence to suggest that the proposed venue will be the type of establishment that facilitates the intoxication of large numbers of people.’
In a deputation to council, Mr Squires said he did not intend his premises to act as a tavern, but wanted patrons to be able to walk around with a drink in hand and have a drink without needing to buy a meal.
Councillors questioned why Mr Squires needed to apply for change of use from a restaurant to a tavern, when WA Liquor Licensing laws have changed to allow restaurants that hold less than 120 patrons to serve drinks without a meal. But that legislation requires patrons to be seated.
A motion by Cr Bill Stewart to refuse the application was voted down, and the officer’s recommendation to grant the change of use application was accepted 4-3.