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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Post-Christchurch earthquake boom for bars, restaurants

Post-Christchurch earthquake boom for bars, restaurants

Last updated 05:00 16/03/2011
"It's like Cup Day every day" in suburban bars as central Christchurch remains off-limits, police say.

However, the answer to people's earthquake woes did not lie in alcohol or drugs, Sergeant Al Lawn, the head of the Christchurch police alcohol strategy and enforcement team, said.

A few drinks and swapping stories with friends could help some, but over-indulgence could be disastrous.

Lawn's officers had seen queues of 150 people or more outside usually quiet suburban pubs.

"Some people don't cry. They just have a few drinks and tell stories, and a suburban bar is a good place for that."

Bars needed to have enough staff to deal with the increased business and "implement host responsibility".

Lawn feared people would be tempted to drink and drive, with party venues spread across the city and inconsistent public transport. He was preparing for a busy few days, with St Patrick's Day tomorrow and Friday's memorial service and public holiday.

National Addiction Centre director Doug Sellman said excessive use of drink or drugs would only add to people's problems.

It may bring temporary relief, but the "come-down" or hangover would darken their mood.

It was "scandalous" that some liquor stores were slashing the price of damaged stock. "The best thing you can do now is double the price."

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