Board threatens to close door on noisy bar

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 April, 2005, 12:00am

Less than a week after Tsim Sha Tsui bar Chasers lost a judicial review over a controversial noise ban, another popular nightspot has had its liquor licence renewal put under scrutiny by noise complaints.

The Liquor Licensing Board yesterday refused to grant Wan Chai watering hole Coyote a full one-year liquor licence renewal following noise complaints last year by nearby residents.

Instead, the bar's licence has been renewed for six months, with a further six months to be granted pending the bar's good behaviour. The renewal is also on condition that two of Coyote's three front doors be closed every Saturday from 11pm to 3am to keep outside noise levels down.

Coyote Bar and Grill has also been issued a noise abatement notice and is set to face a noise control board hearing at a yet-to-be specified date. If the board rules against Coyote, it could be fined or lose its liquor licence altogether.

According to the police, residents living near the bar filed nine noise complaints over the past 12 months. All occurred on Saturday nights, when there is live music at the bar.

Speaking at the Liquor Licensing Board meeting yesterday, the bar's general manager said it had taken measures, including voluntarily closing two of the three front doors, after the complaints.

Clayton Parker, managing director of the company that owns Coyote, said he was disappointed with the board's ruling.

Mr Parker said it was a mistake to ask the bar to close its front doors regardless of whether live music was being played. 'The most dangerous part of the ruling is that it criminalises what we were doing voluntarily in the first place. [It would also make us] probably the only restaurant on Lockhart Road that doesn't have its doors open.'