By Andrew Starke
The City of Sydney’s laneways business development initiative has hit a snag with one of the city’s first ‘small bars’ being forced to close after just two weeks.
Ching-a-lings in Darlinghurst, one of the first bars to open under NSW’s new small-bar laws, was serving a three-month trial period but is accused of having breached a number of by-laws.
Approached by TheShout, a City of Sydney spokesperson said the city supported small bars and laneway rejuvenation but was also mindful of their potential environmental impact on residents.
The Small Permits Appeals Panel allowed Ching-a-lings a three-month trial of the laneway between Oxford Street and Little Oxford Street to assess what impact it had on the area.
“The City of Sydney received a number of serious complaints about the premises relating to noise, overflowing garbage and the unruly behaviour of patrons entering and exiting the small bar via Little Oxford Street,” said a City of Sydney statement. “Council officers have also visited the site and substantiated a number of the complaints.”
The City has offered Ching-a-lings an alternative, stating that the venue could reopen if all patrons enter and exit the small bar through its Oxford Street entrance only. However there are also a number of outstanding building issues that need to be rectified, including the need for an Occupation Certificate.
Changes to the legislation on July 1 last year simplified the application process of opening up a licensed venue in the state and significantly lowered the cost of obtaining a liquor license for venues with floor areas of less than 200sq-m.