A petition of 39 signatures from 34 neighbouring homes presented to City of Subiaco council last Tuesday called for Varsity Bar to change its midnight closing time to 10pm from Sunday to Thursday, control inappropriate noise and pay for damage caused by its patrons.
Co-owner and manager Ben Maher said it was disappointing that, despite making his and the bar manager’s contact details available to residents, no one contacted the bar before the petition went to council.
‘We put every effort into ensuring we don’t disturb the neighbourhood,’ Mr Maher said.
Fellow co-owner and manager Matt Pound said he was frustrated that no residents had made any effort to speak to them directly.
But local resident Lydia Edwards said she and her husband had visited the venue and complained about noise on at least three occasions, most recently in May when drunken patrons threw wheelie bins over her fence.
After an informal complaint was made to the Department of Racing Gaming and Liquor and police liquor enforcement unit in mid-April, Mr Maher said they had boosted security.
‘We now have three to five guards working inside the venue and patrolling the centre to move people on after closing,’ he said.
‘Since then the department has sent inspectors down six or seven times and they have always found us to be in compliance.’
Broadway resident of 10 years Peter Purchas said noise from the bar kept locals awake until midnight every night of the week.
He said the mayhem regularly continued to 2am after drunken patrons had surged out of the bar into the Broadway Fair shopping centre, car park and surrounding streets.
He said patrons also urinated and vomited in gardens, broke tree branches and recently pulled a children’s crossing sign out of the ground.
City of Subiaco chief executive Stephen Tindale said the City had enforced the Public Health Act and Noise Protection Act.
But in terms of anti-social behaviour the City could only lobby to the appropriate organisations.
‘We would be more than happy to pass on the residents’ petition and lobby to the director of liquor licensing,’ Mr Tindale said.