Proposed restaurant 'will be good neighbour'

Amigos owner James Emanuel makes his case for a drinking licence for an Amigos mexican restaurant...
Amigos owner James Emanuel makes his case for a drinking licence for an Amigos mexican restaurant in Alexandra at a District Licencing committee hearing yesterday at the district council chambers. PHOTO: TOM KITCHIN
Owners of a proposed Mexican restaurant in Alexandra insist people will be "drawn to dine, not drink", as residential neighbours of the site oppose the company's application for an alcohol licence.

A hearing was held at the Central Otago District Council chambers in Alexandra yesterday, before the district licensing committee of chairman Neil Gillespie, Dr Michael MacAvoy and Gordy Pay, to consider an application for Amigos Alexandra.

Amlex Ltd director and co-owner of the Amigos restaurant in Wanaka and Cromwell, James Emanuel made an application to run an Amigos branch at 3 Deel St in Alexandra, around the corner from one of the town's main shopping areas in Tarbert St.

But some neighbours did not want it to go ahead.

Heather Trainor and her husband, were two of four objectors to the licence.

"We have lived on Thompson St, Alexandra for 30 years," Mrs Trainor said.

"It is a quiet neighbourhood and we enjoy our life here, listening to the sound of native bird song. I, along with others in our community go to bed early in the evenings and the prospect of Amigos operating 21 metres from our home ... has caused me unnecessary stress."

Mr Emanuel assured the four objectors, all living close to the proposed restaurant, he would be a good neighbour.

Amlex Ltd made an alcohol licence application for 8am-midnight on weekdays and 8am-1.30am on Friday, Saturday and New Year's Eve.

Council licensing inspector Linda Ferrier thought the granting of the licence would be consistent with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. She suggested an earlier closing time for the restaurant, from 8am-11.30pm from Sunday to Thursday and 8am-12.30am for Friday, Saturday and New Year's Eve.

Mr Gillespie said a written decision would be made in 10 working days.

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