It has been a year since the liquor licensing reform laws were introduced, opening the way for new venues to operate under the small bar licence and the liquor-without-a-meal licence.
And while some may have experienced hurdles along the way, the laws have generally been well received.
So to help potential small bar entrepreneurs get started, a consortium comprising Tourism WA, the City of Perth, and the WA chapter of the Australian Hospitality Association will hold a small bars seminar on Monday 12 May.
The seminar will offer advice about the licensing, marketing and design dimensions of starting a small bar in Perth.
Topics to be covered include ‘obtaining a small bar licence’, ‘seeking government approvals’, and ‘creating ambience’.
Meanwhile, following a proposal by the Fremantle Alcohol Advisory Committee, the City of Fremantle will establish a six-month trial to allow liquor without a meal licensed restaurants to extend the licence to the alfresco eating area.
The trial will take place from August 2008 to January 2009 for restaurants, with the possibility of another trial for tavern licence holders.
Although only five restaurants are eligible to participate in the trial, councillor Jon Strachan, who is an active member of the committee, believes it is essential for those who have the licence to be able to extend it to their alfresco areas.
“Even if it involves only 15 per cent of the restaurant, the trial will still give us a definitive answer on whether it increases anti-social behaviour,” he told Gusto.
“It will change the demographics...and will change the ethos of going out for a drink.”
If the trial is successful, the City of Fremantle will have a policy on council laws, which therefore will be applicable for Fremantle only.
Since May 2007, 11 small bar licences and 35 restaurant licences have been granted.