Another Hanssen bar 'not open right now'

The Metro Bar in Stuart St has ceased trading.
The Metro Bar in Stuart St has ceased trading.
Another Dunedin bar run by Ben Hanssen has closed but the former bankrupt maintains the Metro Bar could reopen.

The Stuart St bar ceased trading on Sunday, with hospitality sources saying that items, including gas bottles and wheelie bins, had been repossessed from the business.

A security firm has been guarding the front and rear entrances of the building this week.

The Metro Bar now joins Mr Hanssen's other Dunedin bar interests, Monkey Bar and Diamond Lounge/Rumours, in ceasing to trade.

Yesterday, Mr Hanssen maintained the business had not closed.

''It is not open right now, but it is not closed ... do I have to make it any clearer to you?''

Asked whether he would reopen the business he replied: ''It is most unlikely that I personally will be opening Metro Bar again.''

He declined to comment on whether he had on-sold the business.

''I am not interested in having a conversation with you but I am being polite.''

Mr Hanssen hit the headlines last week when the Otago Daily Times revealed his business dealings, following a trail of creditors in Auckland, Christchurch, Ashburton and Dunedin.

Mr Hanssen, who declined a face-to-face interview yesterday, said: ''I am not interested in a conversation with you about where I am ... I am very disappointed about what you have printed.''

He alleged many of the claims regarding his business dealings were ''fictitious'', and was unsure who was supplying information to the ODT which ''you haven't bothered to verify''.

''You don't need to talk to me to verify a lot of what you printed.''

The Dunedin CIB continued to investigate matters relating to Mr Hanssen.

It was revealed Mr Hanssen allegedly had employed gang members to repossess chattels from a rival business earlier this year, and allegedly had knowledge of concrete being poured down the drain of a neighbouring business.

He denied knowledge of those matters, and also whether he owed staff wages.

Several hospitality companies connected with Mr Hanssen and his partner, Kerry Thompson, are also facing liquidation.

Last week, Inland Revenue confirmed that civil proceedings had been filed against Metro Bar (Dunedin) Ltd, The Church Nightclub Ltd and 2 Mooses Tavern Ltd.

Rumours has not traded for months, Diamond Lounge had been shut for weeks, as had the student-oriented nightclub Monkey Bar.

hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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