By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Friday, May 3 2013
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BACK IN BUSINESS: This file photo shows patrons having a good time at the La Habana Restaurant and Bar in Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook. A magistrate yes...
LIMERS can now rejoice following the news that a Port-of-Spain magistrate yesterday granted the proprietors of La Habana Restaurant and Bar and Tequila Twist Bar, bar licenses to operate legally.
The decision came about five weeks after Kirk Ho Hing and Lisa Seecharan of Tequila Twist and La Habana respectively, filed separate applications for the renewal of their special restaurant licences before Senior Magistrate Annette McKenzie.
In both applications, residents of Woodbrook objected to the renewal on several grounds including unhealthy noise levels, patrons urinating on walls and inconsiderate parking which blocked the entrances to homes.
Since the applications were filed, both businesses were closed pending the outcome of the licence hearing. When the case resumed yesterday in courtroom Four A before McKenzie, attorneys representing both the bar owners and the residents, stated that their respective clients had reached an amicable agreement.
Appearing before McKenzie, who is the head of the St George West Licensing Committee, were attorney Robin Montano, representing the objectors in both applications, Seecharan’s attorney Stephen Singh and Ho Hing’s attorney Ken Sagar. Montano read out several conditions to which both applicants (Ho Hing and Seecharan) have agreed. He noted that the music is not to exceed 65 decibels and speaker boxes be placed inside both premises.
He added that the businesses should be closed at 1.30 am between Sunday to Wednesdays and 2 am on Thursdays. Montano further noted that the applicants agreed to close their businessplaces at 2.30 am on Fridays, Saturdays and on the day before a public holiday. Both businesses are to have three garbage bins placed at “strategic locations” as well as security officers to supervise and manage patrons.
In the case of La Habana, the attorney said there would be no selling of drinks along the pavement. Attorney Singh told the court soundproofing work is currently being done at his client’s business which is expected to be completed within six months. The two applicants as well as the objecting residents —Shirley Kozak and Joycelyn Raphael — gave their oaths after the list of conditions was tendered and marked. McKenzie then withdrew the objectors’ application and granted the licences.
Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing and Maraval councillor Cleveland Garcia had publicly supported the objectors. The mayor was absent from yesterday’s hearing.