The Liquor Licensing Board has granted West Bay restaurant Alfresco permission to serve alcohol on its ocean-side decking.
The restaurant has been seeking permission to serve alcohol on the decking since March 2007, but the board put off taking a decision at its last three meetings amid objections from neighbours and the nearby West Bay Church of God.
Safety concerns were also raised about the application because the restaurant and decking is intersected by Mary Mollie Hydes Road.
Restaurant proprietor Chesley Parson has previously told the board the road has very little traffic and he understands the National Road Authority is in the process of de-gazetting it.
LLB Chairman Mitchell Welds said the board deferred making a decision at its most recent meeting in December to give board member Lynn Bodden-Smatt a chance to inspect the site.
Board members then met and a majority resolved that the application should be approved.
‘We discussed it among members once she had visited the site and a majority of the board was in favour of it,’ he said. ‘We didn’t see a major risk, in regards to pedestrians crossing from the deck to the main building.’
The decision, which became effective 31 December, forbids Mr. Parson from serving beer in glass bottles outside and requires that no liquor be taken off the decking.
At the December meeting Mr. Parson expressed frustration that a decision on his application had been repeatedly delayed.
‘I’ve literally done everything you have asked of me; I’m trying to salvage the last half of December here,’ he said at the time. ‘Things are hard and I need [to be able to serve alcohol on the outside deck].’
But board members said one reason for the delay was that Mr. Parsons had not originally obtained planning permission for the decking.
Objector Ezmie Smith told the December meeting that allowing the restaurant to take alcohol across the road would set a bad precedent: ‘Do we really want that in our community?’ she asked.
Tommy Bodden of West Bay Church of God has also complained that the restaurant is too close to the church to be allowed to serve alcohol outside.