Zara Nicholson

Metro Writer

THE city has closed down three CBD clubs temporarily in the past two months after the owners contravened the new liquor by-law.

Since the by-law came into effect in February, the city’s liquor enforcement unit has inspected 93 premises.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said operations were conducted regularly.

The city would not name the three clubs, saying owners had asked that the names not be published because to do so could harm their businesses.

In February the city passed a by-law that repealed all existing liquor by-laws.

While the old liquor by-law was drafted to curtail alcohol abuse by restricting trading until 6pm in the week and banning Sunday trading, the new by-law allows bottlestore owners and club owners to apply for extensions.

In terms of the new by-law, bottlestore owners can apply for extensions to trade until 8pm from Monday to Saturday. It also allows bottlestore owners to apply for Sunday trading.

Club owners can apply for an extension to trade until 4am, as most establishments are currently allowed to trade only until 2am.

The city made a U-turn on the old by-law last year after business owners complained that the restricted trading times and days would cause loss of income and jobs.

The city then drafted a new by-law to address the “unintended consequences” of the old by-law, saying it did not want to undermine economic activity.

The city, however, warned there would be strong enforcement of the by-law and owners of clubs and bottlestores had to apply for extended hours because they could face hefty penalties for trading outside the times stipulated in their licences.

outside the times stipulated in their licences.