Alf enthusiastically supports the New Plymouth landlord who wants to run a bar for oldies only.
Alas, Alf also cautions that the venture is bound to be torpedoed by publicly funded do-gooders before it can open its doors to a mature clientele.
The do-gooders, of course, are the prats who are paid much too much to serve as Human Rights Commission mandarins and to frustrate sensible business ventures like those proposed by the New Plymouth landlord.
Before the landlord knows it he will be advised he can not bar entry to people on grounds of age, or for all sorts of other reasons.
The awful reality is that he does not have the right to pick and choose his clients, which Alf would have thought was an important right and one worth dying in the ditch for.
It will be the same advice that was given a few months back when a bloke in Paraparaumu had the bright and commendable idea of keeping young louts out of his establishment by imposing an age limit.
The Paraparaumu bloke had the same problem: he had let in young people who couldn’t hold their grog and who tore the place apart when they had a few snorts on board.
But let’s start in New Plymouth, where the Metro Plaza on Devon St West houses the soon-to-close Phoenix Bar.
Its owners are reported to be sick and tired of the trouble caused by young patrons.
“They run amok and they damage things,” Paul Stanley said.
Damage had been done to the toilets and holes had been punched in gib walls.
Mr Stanley, who has owned the Plaza with wife Mary for five years, says the couple will not take on a younger person’s establishment again.
“Older, middle-aged people are better because they hold their liquor and are not going to damage the place,” he said.
The Phoenix Bar has a sad history.
Back in August 2008, when it was the Outback Pub ‘n Grub, it became the first in Taranaki to be shut permanently for breaching liquor laws.
At the time pub owner Greg Davis welcomed the move, saying Maori gangs and drunken teenagers had turned his dream of owning a bar into a nightmare with their late-night behaviour.
He took the unusual step of inviting the Liquor Licensing Authority to cancel his general manager’s certificate.
Mr Stanley is now looking for new tenants, although VTM Hospitality, the company which holds the liquor licence for The Phoenix, still had a lease agreement until August 2011.
“If we will be able to lease it to a prospective tenant that would cater to an older style clientele we would seriously consider it but it has to be a classy establishment.”
Alf reckons the desk-jockeys at the Human Rights Commission will have been alerted to this news already and will be preparing a letter like the one they sent to the owners of a newly-opened Kapiti Coast bar not so long ago.
Nope, the owner was told, he could not impose a ban on admitting under 20-year-olds, as he hoped to do after young drinkers ruined the drinking establishment’s opening night with bad behaviour.
The commission told Jamie Williams, owner of the $2 million Monteith’s Brewery Bar’ at Paraparaumu, he could not discriminate against which customers he chose to let into his bar based on their age, the Dominion Post reported.
“While bars have the right to refuse entry they should be careful not to do so on the grounds of age, sex or ethnicity,” commission spokesman Gilbert Wong said.
The behaviour that gave rise to Williams’ urge to impose an age limit on his clientele was disgraceful.
On the bar’s opening night, Mr Williams said some of young people urinated in corners of the garden bar, held a spitting competition on a television above a urinal, got into fights, and smuggled in their own alcohol.
Williams accordingly had good reason to consider an age limit – his preference was to raise the bar and not have under-25-year-olds in his bar.
In the upshot, he settled with making them sign good behaviour contracts (about 30 had signed up at the time the matter was aired by the news media) and the bar had also increased security.
It would be interesting to find if the bonds are working.
Personally, Alf would ban any bugger under about 45, and maybe 50, if he were running a pub, although doing this obviously would require the disestablishment of the Human Rights Commission.
Since the commission serves no useful purpose that Alf can discern, and since the Government is looking for ways of paring public expenditure, the answer is obvious.
Much good would result, including the opening of bars up and down the country with age limits that kept out the brats.