‘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.
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’.
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.