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May 24, 2022

Neighbours fear more noise from Barrio if liquor license granted

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Barrio Byron Bay. Photo Chris Dobney

‘Barrio’ may be Spanish for ‘neighbourhood’ but Sunrise locals say that Barrio Byron Bay, in the new Habitat development, is a noisy one.

While Habitat developer Brandon Saul has taken on the concerns of neighbours about the impact of sound generated by its cooling system, and is working through fixing it, residents have now expressed concern about Barrio’s application for a liquor licence.

The ‘proposed hours’ on the application it has lodged with NSW Liquor and Gaming are Monday to Saturday 10am to midnight and Sunday 10am to 10pm despite the establishment being less than 50 metres from the nearest homes.

Photo showing Barrio’s proximity to local neighbours. Photo Dave Dixon

Big party

Rochele Douglas, who lives directly opposite the venue, says that sound travels ‘straight across the street because Barrio has both outdoor seating and large open windows that face our complex.

‘It’s like the neighbours are having a big party several nights a week! A liquor licence can only make the noise worse.’

‘I don’t want the cacophony of chatter, laughter, boisterousness, music, and clanking crockery and cutlery from Barrio to go until midnight in the future,’ she said.

Tristan Grier, co-owner of Barrio, wrote a personal letter to local residents asking them to support the licence application. But some were unimpressed.

A sign stating Barrio were ‘really loud’ already and calling for community action soon appeared.

Daniella Finkenauer, who owns a townhouse opposite Barrio, responded by saying it was ‘irreverent and disrespectful to ask for our help after they have spoiled our peaceful neighbourhood’.

Low key

Barrio co-owner and general manager Dan Wyllie told Echonetdaily the plan was simply to extend the venue’s ‘low key’ approach to food to a wine and cocktail selection and that, despite the midnight licence application, diners had largely left by 11pm most nights.

Mr Wyllie said the restaurant serves around 120 to 150 people a night in its current BYO format.

‘We’re just applying for a restaurant licence. We’re not going for a nightclub licence or anything like that.

He conceded however, that it’s definitely going to change the atmosphere from what they’ve previously been used to.’

‘All of a sudden there’s a new development in with a restaurant. There’s a gym upstairs that plays loud music.

‘I’m sure there’s a lot of different noise but we’re more than happy to help minimise as much as possible.

He added the venue had already taken on board neighbours’ complaints and were closing the doors to the outside area at 10pm each night.

Is extra licence required?

Some locals question the wisdom of another liquor licence in a street that already has two bottle shops and two other licensed premises.

Steve, long-time resident across the street from Barrio said he didn’t want ‘more alcohol flowing 50 metres from my front gate’.

‘Downtown Byron is notorious for drinking. Let’s not encourage it in Sunrise too’.

But Mr Wyllie said he would ‘love to create a beautiful wine and cocktail list’.

‘That’s obviously my background and I’m very excited to be involved in it.

‘I just want to reassure residents that we would like to help in any way to minimise noise as much as possible,’ he said.

Public submissions on Barrio’s application for a liquor licence can be made through the NSW Liquor and Gaming Noticeboard website.



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  1. To all those whose personal liberty is disturbed.
    Suck it up and sell it up coz it’s just st the start.
    Imaging if you run a council approved Bnb and in your street alone fair air bnb all selling three to five rooms with built in Doug parties start operating?….
    I am paying an extra $1200 pa in rates and cannot doba thing.
    Potholes are caused by cars and with 2500 non licensed Airbnb operations in byron alone, no extra rates no sewerage allowance garbage or congestion and your complaining.
    Sorry guys I sympathise but this snybthing goes council is happy to let everything go…..
    Most of all outlet town!

  2. L&G really only take notice of persons living within 50m or 100m of venues because only they have some appeal rights to NCAT if they lodge an objection. You will likely become disillusioned by the rubber stamp process adopted by this agency. Try and get supportive submissions from cops, council and health. Best of luck xx

  3. Dan, your neighbours unanimously disagree with you!

    Over the long weekend 23 people representing 12 out of the 14 households who live opposite Barrio signed a petition rejecting the already unacceptable noise levels of your “low-key” establishment and opposing your application for a liquor license. Nobody declined to sign and the only ones who didn’t sign were not home when door-knocked.

    I am very disappointed with your ‘get used to it – suck it up’ attitude. Should I be grateful that I’ve just got a noisy restaurant/cocktail bar at my front door and not a nightclub?

    Our end of Bayshore Drive was a peaceful neighbourhood before Barrio moved in. Barrio needs to fit in with the community and NOT the other way around.

    The Habitat ethos of “you need to love where you live” is being made a mockery of by this situation. I used to love where I live, now my life is a toxic noisy nightmare.

  4. As an owner at Bayshore units, directly opposite Barrio, I am wondering why the design of the restaurant included wide opening windows facing the Bayshore complex. Barrio not only needs to close their doors but close these windows too. The Byron Shire Council need to get onto this a.s.a.p. Apparently their D.A. application described it as a “canteen”!! I will definitely be lodging a submission of objection with the NSW Liquor and Gaming Authority.


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