Clark's highly popular cocktail and entertainment bar in Queenstown, Debajo, has a 24-hour licence, but council wowsers are now trying to get all bars to close at 4am, and to do that they're making an example of just two bars which they insist must start closing early -- by order! -- and as early as next week.
This is not just an argument about opening hours. Debajo make around a third of its income in the hours after 4am, with entertainment through to 8am. And since all the other bars in town will still have 24 hour licenses, all the punters will head off to the other bars while Clark is forced to close at the time he usually makes most of his income, destroying his business.
Clark is a responsible host and Debajo is one of the top bars in Queenstown. He has been nominated as barman of the year. He competes in many competitions in the hospitality world, and is taking his good old dad to Rarotonga in two weeks for an expenses-paid holiday courtesy of a competition he won for a new cocktail involving rum, pineapple, liquid nitrogen and a blow torch. He has also been chosen by Beefeater Gin to represent them in the world championships. This is not just a regular barman - this is his chosen career - he's damn good at it -- and fascist wowsers are trying to close him down.
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