Bannockburn cafe gets liquor licence

A Bannockburn couple's dream to establish a neighbourhood cafe able to serve alcohol has been allowed by the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority, despite a neighbour's opposition.

Annette and John Burgess applied for an on-licence for The Kitchen Bannockburn, seeking to serve local wine and beer and serve evening meals, initially on a Friday and Saturday until 9.30pm.

The application, heard in Queenstown last week, was opposed by neighbour Bronwyn Stewart, who is also employed as the manager of the Bannockburn Hotel, whose property is situated between the two premises.

Mrs Burgess told the authority she and her husband, both professional chefs, had bought the business in August last year as a going concern, having always wanted to own a ''neighbourhood cafe''.

At present the cafe was open from 8am until about 4pm. However, it was ''not financially viable to operate The Kitchen as a cafe''.

By being granted the licence, the couple would be able to serve beer and wine, supporting producers in the area, along with evening meals.

While the application was not opposed by police, the District Licensing Authority or Public Health South, it was opposed by Mrs Stewart and her husband.

Mrs Stewart told the authority the primary grounds for her objection related to noise from the gravel car park at the rear of The Kitchen; potential noise from diners using the outdoor courtyard at night; and light spill from the car park, which was near her bedroom.

However, she said she would be willing to reach a compromise with the Burgesses, suggesting opening hours of 8am to 8pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 9.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

After a short adjournment, Judge John Hole said the authority had decided to grant the application as sought.

''This is an application under the old Act, the old criteria apply [and] this application fits squarely in it.

''As to noise ... regardless of the fact that we are granting the licence, you have an obligation to consider your neighbours and to make sure that the patrons keep the noise to an acceptable level.

''That, to a degree, provides some comfort for Mrs Stewart. She may not think so, but nevertheless it's there.''