Central Western Daily journalist Nicole Kuter continues her report from Saturday night at The Occidental Hotel.
In part three of the series she writes about life as the licensee of a late night trading venue and why women walk home at 3am.
LATE nights, early mornings, dealing with staff, licensing and planning matters, all while making sure the bar is stocked and tills are full are the easy parts of life as a licensee.
It is the unruly patrons that make life difficult for the general manager of the Occidental Hotel.
Don Scholte said the staff at the pub did everything they could to ensure staff and patrons were safe.
“All it takes is a minority to ruin it for the majority,” he said.
Examples of this occurred on Saturday night.
One patron was asked to leave because security determined he had had enough to drink.
Rather than leave when asked he shouted at them, swore at them and refused to move from the foyer.
“Throw the rest of the pub out if you think I’ve had too much to drink,” the man shouted at Mr Scholte.
“Your security are too over-zealous, this is ridiculous, totally over the top.
“I am never coming to your hotel again.”
That was the typical response from patrons who were refused entry or asked to leave on Saturday night.
“We’re just trying to do the right thing,” Mr Scholte said.
“We’re not here to try and ruin anybody’s night but the law is the law and we do everything we can to respect that.”
The pub has no glass, no energy drinks, imposes a 1am curfew and does not serve shots, shooters or alcoholic mixers above 5 per cent after midnight.
Mr Scholte’s day on Saturday started at about 8am and went through until almost 5am the next morning.
The hours between 1am and 3am are when he is “uptight” and nervous.
“That’s the time when you really have to be on your game,” he said.
During the evening Mr Scholte is constantly on the move, conducting “sweeps”, treks down the street and checking in with bar staff and security to monitor the behaviour and attitude of patrons.
He conducts a sweep of the building every 20 minutes to check for rubbish, furniture that might obstruct walkways and patrons who have had enough to drink.
But that’s not all.
Every hour Mr Scholte walks up and down Lords Place to look for potential dangers, bottles and glass that patrons might pick up.
“I move trolleys out of people’s peripheral vision, up alleyways because they might end up somewhere they’re not supposed to like in a window,” he said.
On one of the walks Mr Scholte found a pram sitting idly in the street. An hour later the pram ended up halfway down the block, in a garden on the corner of Summer Street and Lords Place.