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Hamilton: Next Door Bar's crisis continues

Fri 26 Jan 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

"Why are we still closed for no apparent reason?" asks the owner of Hamilton's Next Door Bar. Hamilton City Council told Clive Brooker on 19 October 2006 his LGBT bar was not safe to be open. After months of structural, electrical and plumbing issues, which Brooker claims his carried out the necessary repairs to fix, he's still being told the venue cannot open for business. "It's been three months now and we're still closed," says Brooker. "We honestly never thought it would take this long, but it has, and there is still no end in sight." The original closure was due inadequate fire warning systems to the upstairs, making the use of the 10 High Sauna beside the Next Door Bar, and the apartment above it where Brooker lived, potentially unsafe. "It was decided shortly thereafter that the 10 High Sauna would be demolished, and the space redeveloped as part of Next Door's planned refurbishment. Since the Next Door Bar is largely unaffected by the conditions of closure, getting it back into operation would be our first priority," explains Brooker. Hamilton City Council's Environmental Services general manager Graeme Fleming assures us the Council are keen to get the issue resolved. He explains a meeting was held earlier this week with Brooker. "We are looking at ways to open the bar in the interim. "Hopefully we can achieve minimum safety standards as soon as possible," Fleming concludes. "We are not going to roll over and disappear," says Brooker, who has also contacted the Mayor of Hamilton about the situation. "We look forward to serving the community for many years to come." Donations are gratefully accepted, he continues. "Bills don't go away just because the bar and sauna have. "We are also selling bar tabs of $500 and up which will go towards the refurbishment programme. These tabs will carry a discount on standard bar prices, and demonstrate your belief in us and our future." Contact Clive Brooker on (07) 847 7191, by visiting or mailing 10 High Street, Frankton, Hamilton, or email:     Ref: (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 26th January 2007 - 12:00pm

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