City backs alfresco drinking

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Albany Hotel owner Neville Walton believes the City council’s decision to approve a six-month trial to allow alcohol to be served without food in the pub’s alfresco area will pave the way for other venues to follow suit.

The York Street pub’s application will now be assessed by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries after councillors approved the trial by 12 votes to one at Tuesday’s council meeting with councillor Alison Goode voting against the motion.

Mr Walton praised the decision and said it was a win for Albany.

“We’re very happy and it’s a great result — there are a couple of little restrictions but we can work with that,” he said

“I think it’s just good for Albany; it opens up the doors for other licensed premises to be able to follow in our footsteps.”

The item also included a clause that ensures council agree to approve similar proposals by other licensed premises subject to conditions.

Mr Walton said they had received strong support from neighbouring businesses.

“Our patrons still have to be seated so it doesn’t open up the floodgates for wild parties out on the alfresco, and we never intended that,” he said

“They can sit out there in the sunshine and have a nice glass of wine in the afternoon which is what we need to be encouraging.”

Councillor Ray Hammond spoke in favour of the motion.

“This facility is long overdue and will add much needed vibrancy to York Street,” he said

A similar application requesting changes to the hotel’s liquor licence was rejected by the council in 2008.

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