Hair of the dog

VINCENT council officers want to give a proposed barber shop cum small bar the snip.

Proposed for the old Kartique jewellery shop at 559 Beaufort Street, the business would have a 120-person bar in the rear serving up old school cocktails and a small barber shop up front.

The owners plan to call it Blind Pig Speakeasy, a reference to prohibition when legitimate shopfronts would be used to throw coppers off the scent.

Vincent planning staff say there’s not enough parking and have recommended councillors say ‘no, pig,’ but mayor Emma Cole and deputy Susan Gontaszewski have asked for an alternative recommendation to be drawn up, calling for it to be approved subject to more negotiation on parking management.

Speakeasy

Under council rules the applicants, Bootlegging Wolves, need to provide 27 parking bays – they have zero – so drivers don’t clog up nearby streets.

Applicants can pay cash in lieu of each bay, but that’d cost Bootlegging $97,200, so they’ve offered $35,000 as a compromise.

Bootlegging has hired planning firm Urbanista to plead their case—which is headed up by Petar Mrdja, a former acting planning director at Vincent council.

He’s asking his former council colleagues for clemency. “The abundance of on-street car parking in the Beaufort Street area, public parking facilities, availability of excellent public transport options and the regular use of driver technologies such as Uber, ensure that the needs of users can be met without the need to provide 27 car bays,” he said in a submission.

The barber shop would keep the street frontage active during the day, fighting the trend of Beaufort Street becoming a night-time only entertainment precinct.

by DAVID BELL

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