Pub to stop selling booze but vows to stay open

Owners tried to keep the beers flowing, but were ultimately refused.

A pub with an extensive history of violence will officially stop selling alcohol in a bid to combat the venue's growing crime problem — but it will stay open.

The Edinburgh Castle, in Auckland, has long been plagued by violence among its patrons, with past incidences including knife attacks, manslaughter brawls, robberies and, in one particularly brutal attack, a nunchuk assault.

Alcohol axed, but pokies to stay

As a result, the venue will officially suspend the sale of alcohol, but will remain open for guests that wish to stay in the hotel's rooms and will also continue to operate its poker machines, Stuff reported.

According to the outlet, the venue may continue to trade as a "24-hour gaming operation".

The Edinburgh Castle in Auckland.
The Edinburgh Castle, in Auckland, has long been plagued by violence. Source: Stuff

Some of the hotel rooms on offer act as emergency housing accomodation, which have been used by rough sleepers in the past, as well as other vulnerable residents.

Just last week, the pub — in the inner-city suburb of Newton — attempted to argue for a renewal of its liquor licence, which came in opposition from both police, New Zealand's Medical Officer of Health, the licensing inspector and some 24 concerned locals.

Days later, the management officially withdrew its application, instantly losing the right to sell booze.

Edinburgh Castle's extensive history of violence

"We are not selling alcohol, we have already stopped. We will close the pub and run the hotel because it has a 150-year history," the pub's owner, Samson Xin Xin, said, per Stuff.

Asked if he would now sell the pub, Mr Xin said "not at this stage" — though he revealed he would consider re-applying for an alcohol licence in the future, but "not immediately".

In the last four years alone, a kidnapping, a stabbing, two attempted stabbings, a nunchuk attack, an aggravated robbery, and brawl all allegedly occurred at the venue. Recently, a patron was also caught with a bag of methamphetamine.

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