We’re on the express train to prohibition and curfews, Sydney.
As anger over the state-imposed Lockout Laws continues to grow, a local upmarket eatery has come under fire from NSW police for their wine list.
Their freaking WINE LIST.
Apparently, it was “promoting anti-social behaviour and excessive drinking”.
Giovanni Paradiso, co-owner of 10 William Street, has posted a photo on Instagram of the venue’s chalkboard wine list, along with the caption, “So according to NSW POLICE FORCE our blackboard with what we are pouring by the glass is promoting unsavoury behaviour. SYDNEY WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING.”
Speaking with Broadsheet, 10 William Street co-owner Marco Ambrosino explained what went down the night that police came a-calling.
“The Rugby Sevens were on and there was a lot of activity in the area. Thousands of people were walking around on the streets and the police were out visiting all the pubs,” he said. “They spent quite some time in the pub next to us, so to show fairness, they popped into the business next to the pub [our restaurant].”
Ambrosino says the cops told 10 Williams’ manager that they had two major concerns: a sign saying “free wine”, which the manager explained was a cheeky reference to wine without added substances (i.e. organic wine), which the restaurant is known for serving.
And the second concern was that the blackboard, which lists wines by the glass, was “too close to the front of the restaurant”, which police explained could be seen to “promote heavy drinking”, without making it clear that the venue also served food.
“We are a wine bar, so we put our wines by the glass at the front, and hand people a menu when they sit down. We’ve had it like this for six years,” Ambrosino said.
“There’s an undercurrent of disappointment amongst venue owners. There seems to be a real confusion of drinking and dining [and] when you can trade. We’re very, very frustrated. None of us have had any trouble. The police are painting us all with one brush,” he continued.
Since Sydney’s lockout laws and general climate of oppressive paternalism came into effect, numerous restaurants, bars and live music venues have shut down and foot traffic in their area has plummeted.
The backlash against the anti-violence measures gained even more traction last week after Mark Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com, published an in depth and ass-whooping opinion piece about the damage the laws were doing to Sydney.
The laws are up for review this month, which means you can start flooding Mike Baird with emails now.
Meanwhile, NSW police have issued the following statement to Broadsheet regarding the whole wine list incident:
“On the night of and Friday 7 February and Saturday 6 February 2016, police from the Central Metropolitan Region, as well as the Alcohol & Licensing Enforcement Command (ALEC) conducted an operation across Sydney City, Kings Cross, Surry Hills and Newtown Local Area Commands. The Operation targeted alcohol related violence, anti-social behaviour and compliance with the Liquor Amendment Act 2014. During the operation about 155 businesses and licensed premises were patrolled. It is common for police to provide advice to licensees regarding potential licensing breaches or issues during business inspections. Twelve licensing breaches were detected during the operation.”