According to a recent NewsCorp article by Martina Simos, Adelaide councils, and business groups have denounced a decision to restrict new small bars to the city.
The State Government confirmed last week that small bars — which have helped revitalise the city — would not be allowed to open outside the CBD until at least 2016, despite promising a review of the legislation this year.
It’s the second time the government has delayed an investigation into allowing small bars outside the city.
Holdfast Bay Mayor Stephen Patterson has criticised the Government’s decision, describing it as disappointing for all suburban councils looking to cash in on the success of the CBD’s small-bar culture.
“We were very excited about it originally and put in an application to get this up last year, so we are very disappointed this has been delayed,” he said.
“We’re concerned it takes local business away from the suburbs and into the city.”
Jetty Rd Mainstreet Management Committee chairman Mark Faulkner said it was “extremely disappointing” after the council last year won approval to be the next area considered for small-bar licences.
“We’ve actually been pushing for this for the past couple of years,” Mr Faulkner said.
“We’ve seen the rejuvenation of the Adelaide CBD and what it’s opened. It’s time that it should be shared with other areas.”
He said small bars would tie in well with the State Government’s plan to allow more high-rise apartment buildings at the Bay.
“Those buildings above nine storeys would attract that young professional crowd that has been attracted to small bars in the city,” he said.
Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Mayor Robert Bria said he was “very disappointed”.
“I just can’t understand why small bars outside of the CBD are still restricted when it has been so successful and could be done in the suburbs,” he said.
“If the State Government is serious about activating the inner-urban councils, then regulations on small bars should not be restricted to the CBD.”
Australian Hotels Association SA general manager Ian Horne said the new licences had enlivened the CBD but expansion plans should be treated with caution.
“Hospitality broadly is doing it pretty tough at the moment,” he said. “That particular licence was targeted at the CBD; it’s still early days.
“You run the risk of simply cannibalising everyone.”
Adam Chester, 29, owner of Soundpond — an underground music station in Rundle St with a small liquor licence — said he had no problem with small bars spreading to the suburbs.
“I was never really sure why it was restricted to the CBD in the first place” he said.
“If you are going to have a small-venue liquor licence in suburban areas, of course it wouldn’t be a free pass — you would still have council doing their oversight and diligence.
“If you’ve got that kind of oversight that’s making sure they’re not put in silly places, I don’t really know of any argument against it.’’
More than 40 small bars have opened in Adelaide’s CBD since the Government introduced the pop-up bar licence trial two years ago.
A further eight small-venue licence applications are pending.
Small venues are limited to 120 patrons and may operate between 11am and 2am.