Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Scotty's Bar sold after breaches

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Popular Eat Streat bar Scotty's will next month pass into new ownership.
Popular Eat Streat bar Scotty's will next month pass into new ownership.

Scotty's Bar on Eat Streat has been sold after the former owner was given three months to sell up or close for good after numerous breaches of liquor licensing laws.

Former owner Scott Toner appeared before the Rotorua District Licensing Committee (DLC) in December to apply for renewal of his bar's on-licence under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

However, due to a number of issues, including selling alcohol to underage patrons during controlled purchase operations, Mr Toner's application was refused. The popular bar's liquor licence was set to expire on March 15, effectively giving Mr Toner until that date to sell it, or shut up shop.

Mr Toner told the Rotorua Daily Post it was not the way he wanted to leave Eat Streat, but he had got a "pretty good" price for the bar that he said had been sold to another Rotorua local a few weeks ago.

"Their takeover day is March 10, I think they have to get their liquor licence sorted first," Mr Toner said. "But to be honest I would have liked to go out on my own terms."

He said he would take a break from the hospitality scene for a short time before re-assessing his future prospects.

"The plan is to take a tour of the South Island in a campervan for a few months and just chill out. But I won't be setting up shop in Rotorua again."

Mr Toner said he was happy to sell it to a Rotorua person and someone who knew the Eat Streat scene well.

In December's DLC decision, Chief Licensing Inspector Julie Smale questioned Mr Toner's suitability for running a bar.

"Mr Toner has failed to demonstrate to this committee that he understands his responsibilities as a licensee.

"Unfortunately, there appears to be a systemic failure on the part of Mr Toner to implement systems and change his management style, he continues to display a blase attitude and lack of concern about his responsibilities," the committee's decision stated.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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