Club’s opening times clipped

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An underground nightclub’s had its closing time pulled back by Queenstown’s licensing committee due to issues like noise and intoxication.

Vinyl Underground’s owners sought a standard three-year renewal of its liquor licence and continued 4am closing, a year after buying the former Subculture nightclub in Church Street.

At last month’s hearing, the committee heard allegations of multiple breaches of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, including reports of drunks on the premises and lack of in-house food.

It also heard noise control measures in the premises’ original consent were ignored.

Numerous noise complaints came from neighbouring luxury hotel The Spire, which opposed the renewal application - as did police and the medical officer of health.

The committee decided to restrict Vinyl Underground’s closing time to 2am and extend its licence for only 19 months.

Chairman Bill Unwin says the portrait was painted of a business that was either unaware of its responsibilities - or knew its responsibilities and didn’t take them seriously.

The owners were addressing noise issues and producing menus and promoting food but it was “too late”.

Unwin says there were grounds to refuse the licence renewal.

“Its ‘probationary’ year may have been profitable but any profit has been achieved at the expense of breaches of the Act and the licence.”

Unwin says the renewal gives the owners time to decide whether to continue trading without breaching its resource consent, which would involve continuous noise monitoring.

“And there needs to be time to see whether our proposals about the trading hours work.”

In a statement, owners Ben Calder and Anthony Waldock say they are taken aback by the decision and have yet to decide whether to appeal.

“There is clearly an issue with sound emissions that our upcoming renovations will mitigate.”

The club now has the chance to introduce “exciting changes” such as a new menu, early dining options and extensive renovations.

scoop@scene.co.nz