Alfresco drinking may soon be permitted at Albany pubs

John DobsonAlbany Advertiser

The City of Albany could soon allow pubs to serve alcohol without food in alfresco areas, after an application by the Albany Hotel.

The application to allow the York Street pub to sell alcohol to patrons without the current requirement of also having to order a meal will go before tomorrow night’s development and infrastructure committee.

The recommendation before the committee is that it approve a six-month trial at the Albany Hotel and other licensed venues, if requested, which operate alfresco areas on City-owned land.

If approved tomorrow night, the trial would still need final approval at this month’s ordinary council meeting and then go before the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor.

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In its application to the City, Albany Hotel managing director Neville Walton said serving alcohol to patrons in the alfresco area would fit with the City and State’s desire to support local tourism and meet consumer expectations.

“The liquor licensing reform promises to align WA with our Eastern States counterparts and the world stage,” he said.

“(It) would allow the hotel to meet current consumer and tourist expectations and assist in creating a much more vibrant CBD.”

Mr Walton said the hotel had no reports of any incidents between patrons and pedestrians and had been allowed to open its alfresco area to drinking-only patrons during the Albany Classic without incident.

The report to the council includes letters of support from several neighbouring businesses.

It also includes a letter from Great Southern Liquor Enforcement Sgt Michael Russell, who said he had been involved in discussions with the hotel.

“I do not support this proposal but in saying that, I do not object to it,” he said.

“Albany Hotel is not a licensed premises that police attend on a regular basis to deal with violent or antisocial behaviour.”

A similar application requesting changes to its liquor licence were rejected by the council in 2008.

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