When bars are allowed to reopen, Woodbrook residents are hoping those in their area won’t revert to any time, any day hours.
The Woodbrook Residents Association has shared a petition, which was created by Alberto Street resident, requesting that bars in the area agree to close by 2 am, when the public health order which prohibits bars from operating, is lifted.
The petition reads, “Woodbrook residents have been plagued by bars and their patrons for many years now. Lack of regulations and police manpower has led to an increase in murders, theft, traffic accidents, vandalism, pollution, vending and noise disturbances in the area. Patrons should also not be permitted to loiter on the pavement in front of the bar.
The aim is not to stop people from making a living, but to have some compromise from all stakeholders which will allow us to all co-exist. Pushing the earlier closing time will not only help the community but reduce the strain on city resources. We the undersigned urge our leaders to act now to enforce this rule as a condition for bar licenses.”
The creator of the petition said it was created as they recognised the last couple of months of quiet due to the COVID-19 restrictions would come to an end eventually.
“A lot of us don’t even blame so much the bars, it’s the fact that they don’t have control over their patrons. So a lot of times, you would have let’s say Frankie’s overflowing with people so they would be all out in the street and there is a new trend where people come in a pickup truck and they park on the street and they come with a cooler and many times my street has been completely blocked, and I can’t come down my street to go home,” said the resident.
Ariapita Avenue had become one of the country’s most popular nightlife spots in the mid to late 2000s after several popular bars and clubs opened along the avenue running through the then residential area.
The Woodbrook Residents Association had for several years complained about the spillover effects of the bars, complaining about increasing crime, blocked driveways and bar patrons urinating on their walls.
“I know the residents are very happy that the bars are closed and they can sleep at night,’ said association president Lynette Dolly.
“This is exactly what we want. This is how a neighbourhood should be, it should be quiet,” the creator of the petition said.
However, the resident explained that others initially wanted an earlier shut off time.
“There are some older people who want it to be as early as 12 but I don’t think that’s reasonable but I think 2 am you can get people going home early.”
Manager of Frankie’s, Glen Diaz said he would accept any restriction the government enforces post-COVID, but he does not believe Woodbrook bars alone should be tied to a specific restriction.
“If we are required to close at 2 o’clock, that is stated am, that is not a problem but I believe all bars so it should not just be the bars on the Avenue per se,” he said.
Owner of Pub House, John Quan did not believe the restriction would be a good idea as it would further stifle and already stuttering economic situation in the country.
He, like Diaz, felt that such an action would encourage all bars around the country to face such a restriction.
He suggested a discussion between residents and bar owners, where a compromise could be made.