Monday, February 28, 2005

Please Leave Now!

However, of all recent changes to the law, the biggest social impact on the lifetyle of publicans has been the Eviction Laws.

1./ Pubs may now evict or bar people without providing a reason.
2./The police may write a quite expensive ticket to anyone who refuses to leave a pub when the publican (or staff) ask them to.

Now my stress level is reduced to less than 10% .

Previously, publicans had to be burly enough, or wily enough, to remove even the largest & most belligerent & violent of persons.

This was particularly tricky in the event of more than one person disputing their "right" to continue harassing/assaulting & generally ruining everyone’s night.

(And the underclass DID have that right to remain, all the weight was on publicans, to present a “case” as to why a certain bully or serial offender would be not welcome in the pub)

Roughhousing with the public is now a thing of the past (& not before time either)

Nowdays Mine Host attends "discussion groups" & "meetings" with police, where the officer-in-charge of the local station explains that Mine Host must no longer grapple with the unruly.

Instead the police are to be summoned. The police will remove the "evictee" & if appropriate write a ticket... (YES! a summary fine for refusing to leave a pub!!! *Yippee*)

What a contrast from Mine Host’s first days at the Builders & Motor Trades Arms, when construction workers & mechanics would behave as dogs in a pit.

The official position of the police was "anything that happens there, handle it yourself, we do not want to know about it, it is your pub, if you don't keep it clean, we will crack down on YOU"

The mental strain on publicans & their families was intense. Any time of the day or night, year round, personally having to one-on-one front up to absolutely any brute who suddenly felt in the mood for some summary physical conflict.

The legal penalties for failing to front up, (the police call this “containing the situation”) or for losing the brawl, were such that Peace of Mind was never possible for a publican, unless he was in the premises, & could see for himself that nothing was happening.

Holidays, or even a trip out to the post office, were as brief as possible, & filled with mind numbing worry about what may be happening back at the pub.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

On the House!

Of course with the introduction of the "new" liquor act (1992) much has changed, not only have "taverns" & other such names been removed from the official lexicon, but other more important requirements have changed also:

The Wayside Tavern is no longer required to have straw or stabling for 6 horses. Now we are no longer in breach of the law!

Holding a general licence now allows one to apply for a licence to operate poker machines. The pseudo-casino atmosphere inside Queensland pubs these days is a direct result of this change.

Poker machines: Where you sell something to people without having to give them anything.

Only a general licence (pub) is allowed to sell packaged (ie, take home) liquor. Random breath testing & severe penalties for drink driving has led (over quite some years) to an increase in drinking at home. Result: a proliferation of "quick-serve" drive through bottleshops.

Takeaway liquor could only be sold from a hotel premises, however now a hotel (general licence) may apply to open satellite bottlshops (maximum of 3, must be within 10km radius of the hotel). These can be found almost anywhere, although usually are in a large shopping centre, a suburban shopping precinct, or in a convenience location (I would prefer to have one located between a pizza shop & a video rental shop!)

Second Round

Now that we are ensconced in the Wayside Tavern, what does the name mean? What is a Tavern? What is the difference between the following: Tavern, Inn, Hotel, and Pub?

Readers from Queensland (& possibly all of Australia & NZ) will be thinking "they are all the same thing!" Ah! Not quite so! Under the previous but longstanding Queensland Liquor Act, a "Tavern" & a "Hotel" were different liquor licences, with differing conditions. All were colloquially known as pubs. Under the new Queensland Liquor Act, all are now a General Licence, the licence conditions of which are quite similar, but differ from, those of a Public House.

Public House: A place, usually a building, where liquor may be purchased by a member of the public for no reason other than to consume it right there on the premises. (Commonly shortened to pub).

Inn: A place where overnight lodgings are offered to travellers, meals are provided & can also be a public house.

Hotel: A place where accommodation is offered, also meals, & may have ancillary facilities, perhaps shops in the foyer for the convenience of guests. The accommodation may be aimed at longer term residents, & meals are provided. A Hotel need not be a public house, however in Australia & some other countries the two terms have come to be synonymous.

Tavern: Public House which does not have guest accommodation.

Where is the Wayside Tavern? In Mighty Queensland! In various postings on this site it may be known such other names as befits a place or event in the experience of Mine Host. Events in this weblog are all factual, & are all in a pub operated by Mine Host. However chronology & location may sometimes be altered to protect the identity of those who have committed no offences.

For those who are still reading shall I refill the foaming tankards?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

First Drinks

Door is open for trade, tankards await their foaming contents, mine host has just finished the final preparations in readiness for opening. You are all most welcome to enter & quench your thirst, seat yourself at a wooden bench, enjoy the cool air, shade & convivial company! A good time for you is our specialty!