Bar faces closure for overcrowding

Dunedin’s troubled Carousel Bar is facing a three-day closure due to repeated breaches of its liquor licence, with Police applying to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) to have the bar’s on-licence suspended.

Owner John Devereux and duty manager Tessa Cooper are also in the firing line, with Police seeking a 28 day suspension of Devereux and Cooper’s certificates.

Much of the discussion centres around whether or not a patron was so drunk that he wet himself. During a police inspection, an officer found a man asleep on a table outside with a wet patch on his pants, which the officer said showed that the man had urinated on himself. He was also holding a drink at the time. However, Devereux and Cooper claim that the man had simply spilled a drink on himself.

The reason for the overcrowding was because the doorman had left his post in order to break up a fight, according to Devereux.

This isn’t the first time the bar has faced trouble. Deveraux’s application to renew the bar’s licence in 2015 was also opposed by police, citing concerns over his “suitability” as an operator given his response to cases of overcrowding and an assault at the bar. The licensing committee found that the number of patrons would have been a serious problem if the bar had needed to be evacuated, but allowed the renewal to go ahead after Deveraux agreed to look into expanding the capacity of the bar.

Carousel Bar most recently made headlines in November last year, when a 68-year-old customer died after falling down the stairs while leaving the bar in the early hours of the morning. Police confirmed that the recent application was unrelated to the incident.