Bottle-shop set to open as bar in North Melbourne

Bottle-shop set to open as bar in North Melbourne
Brendan Rees

A North Melbourne bottle shop is set to open its doors as a bar under a proposal expected to be supported by the City of Melbourne.

The shop, Sessions on Arden, is situated within the Arden Gardens mixed-use complex at 129 Canning St, which comprises apartments and shops, including a Woolworths.

The owners are now seeking a general liquor licence – in addition to its packaged liquor licence – that would allow drinks to be consumed on-site or for takeaway purposes – in what they say will “allow customers to consume different types of liquor in a comfortable and safe setting”.   

“Since opening, there have been large number of enquiries from our customers asking whether it’s possible to have a drink at the premises so they can learn more about the liquor they’re interested in. This is strongly in line with our goals,” the applicant Charman Cellar Pty Ltd said in a summary of its proposal to the council.

Under the proposal, the bar would be limited to six patrons with background music only, with service to operate no later than 9.30pm (including Good Friday and ANZAC Day). As a bottle shop the sale of liquor would be operate no until 11pm.

At the time of publishing, councillors were expected to back a recommendation from management to support the applicant’s bid at their Future Melbourne Committee meeting on August 15.

However, the application has drawn a mixed response from the community including 16 objections and 14 letters of support.

Opponents expressed concern about the shop operating within a residential area and impact to amenity including noise, inappropriate behaviour of patrons and intoxication, and “loss to visual aesthetics of the area”.

A council report said, “subject to conditions, the proposed use is acceptable as it aligns with the purpose and decision guidelines of the mixed-use zone and broader planning policy”.

“Having regard to the limited number of patrons and limited hours of on-site consumption, the use can be appropriately managed via planning permit conditions.” •

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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