Breakdown in centralised distribution of alcohol

Alcohol supply shortages affecting some Dunedin restaurants and bars illustrate the problem of centralising goods distribution, says Table Seven owner Steve Richardson.

Many Christchurch warehouses took a major hit in the earthquake on September 4, in some cases losing millions of dollars worth of stock.

Mr Richardson, also president of the Dunedin Restaurant Association, said it was beer and wine, rather than food, causing difficulties since the big quake.

An increasing trend towards centralising alcohol distribution to Christchurch in the past few years exacerbated the problem.

Mr Richardson said having a good liquor stock meant he had not had a serious problem, although he had run out of one beer brand.

He feared more serious problems emerging in the next two weeks.

Plato head chef Caleb Appleton said the restaurant generally sourced food south of the Waitaki River, so meals were not a problem, but several wines had been dropped from the wine list.

Many of Plato's red wines were from Central Otago, but were freighted north for distribution in Christchurch.

The past few days had been spent "cutting out the middle man" to get stock direct.

Nova Cafe manager Paula Denton said wine was the cafe's main problem.

One supplier had lost 95% of its stock in the quake.

She said a lot of Nova's food was supplied locally.

Bacchus Wine Bar owner Stephen Hannagan had not had serious problems so far.

People were very understanding, he said.


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