An application to renew a liquor licence for one of Wellington's most infamous bars has been declined.
Authorities consider The Establishment on Courtenay Place to be one of the highest, if not the highest, risk licensed premises in the city.
A dire picture of intoxication and violence has been painted by the Wellington District Licensing Committee in its decision on the matter, which was released today.
It's believed to be the first time a liquor licence has been completely declined on Wellington's nightlife strip.
But it doesn't necessarily mean The Establishment will have to close its doors.
The application to renew the licence was made when Andrew Gibson owned the bar, but it has since been sold to Jose Ubiaga who also owns Dakota Bar and The Residence.
The committee outlined in its decision today that Police did not consider Gibson was suitable to hold a licence.
During the renewal period Gibson was convicted for driving with excess breath alcohol, which the committee said was not an isolated conviction.
He was assessed by two police officers as being intoxicated while at The Establishment to the point he had trouble standing up and his speech was slurred. Gibson accepted this "could be true" but he couldn't recall.
Gibson gave evidence that as a result of the opposition to his licence renewal application he would no longer drink at The Establishment.
"The clear implication of this statement is that Mr Gibson has recognised an issue with his own drinking at the very premises he is responsible for," the committee reported.
Gibson also said day-to-day responsibility would be delegated to the new general manager.
But the committee considered Gibson remained the "controlling mind of the business".
The committee accepted police's view that since the new manager was employed a year ago, there has been no evidence of alcohol-related harm being reduced.
Incidents during this time included fights between two patrons inside the bar, an arrest of an intoxicated patron, a 17-year-old being on the premises, and security staff assaulting a member of the public outside the premises, police said.
The committee accepted changes have been made to systems and processes at The Establishment, but were made too late and have not made a significant difference.
The existing liquor licence remains valid until January 14. Ubiaga has a temporary licence based on the current one, meaning it will expire at the same time.
If Ubiaga applied for a new licence, and it was granted by the committee by January 14, The Establishment could continue operating past this date.
Police said there have been 104 incidents since the last liquor licence renewal.
These included at least 17 instances of patrons being intoxicated on the premises, wilful damage, 15 assaults and 17 instances of fights.
One of the conditions of The Establishment's licence is that food must be available for consumption on the premises at all times it is open for the sale and supply of alcohol.
But on a site visit the committee found there was no food in the kitchen and no chef or staff present.
The fridge was empty apart from two boxes of uncooked fried food and it didn't appear that any of the fryers were operational or in fact actually switched on.
Police said most of Wellington's inner-city alcohol-related harm occurred in Courtenay Place.
The location is considered to be particularly vulnerable with respect to the local population being skewed to adolescents and young adults, and high levels of victims of crime.
"The committee finds this applicant is not suitable to hold a licence and particularly not for a high risk premises, such as The Establishment", the committee said in its conclusion.