Canterbury pub fights to keep its liquor licence

The Famous Grouse Hotel in Lincoln. Photo: Supplied
The Famous Grouse Hotel in Lincoln. Photo: Supplied
The Famous Grouse Hotel has taken steps to avoid losing its liquor licence or have restrictions placed on its operation.

The Selwyn Times revealed last week police, the district council licensing inspector and Canterbury’s medical officer of health are opposing the renewal of the pub’s licence.

The pub is operated by Famous Grouse 2009 Ltd, a company which is owned by the Lincoln Club.

University student behaviour appears to be one of the main reasons for the objections.

The pub has become the watering hole for Lincoln University students in recent years.

The Mr Famous Grouse contest, which mainly involved students, is part of authorities’ case against it, the Selwyn Times understands.

The day after the Selwyn Times article, the Lincoln Club and hotel management issued an email to club members outlining the situation. The club has about 500 members.

The hotel has implemented a no drinks outside policy after 9pm to “minimise noise that might disturb neighbouring properties”, the club and management said in its email.

They also reiterated to members they believe the licensing matter will not go to a hearing. A date has not yet been set.

Said the email: “The authorities’ concerns seem to be generally around the behaviour of patrons on ‘student’ nights.

"These are situations rather unique to the Famous Grouse because of its proximity to the university, but we are sure that with some goodwill from all sides the issues can be sorted out.

“The Grouse license expired in February, a renewal application was made in early January and was accepted by the Selwyn council.

"Notifications to the public were advertised and no objections were received. However, the police lodged an objection right at the 11th hour citing it was interim while further investigations were carried out.

"To date we have not been informed about the outcome of the “further” investigation. 

“The licensing inspector and Canterbury Health then followed the police lead.

"Once an application is lodged and accepted we have three years to satisfy the renewal requirements, our solicitors are currently preparing a case for discussion with the authorities which will take place this month," the email said.