It s Rockingham, not Hollywood
Kevin Mann, owner of the Zelda's Nightclub in Rockingham.

The owner of a Rockingham nightclub has defended claims it attracts "undesirable people", arguing though its patrons are not the "Hollywood crowd" seen in Subiaco and Leederville, they are still entitled to go to a nightclub.

Kevin Mann, owner of Zelda's nightclub, successfully appealed against several conditions put on his liquor licence after two bikie-related assaults in or outside his premises in late 2011.

The appeal in the Supreme Court last year meant the Liquor Commission was forced to reconsider his conditions, including a 2am close on weekdays and weekends as well as a ban on adult entertainment, including strippers.

In a recent decision the commission agreed with the Supreme Court decision that complaints by police relating to the brawls could not be linked to all of the conditions and as such some, including the early close time and ban on strippers, were removed.

However, in a swipe towards Mr Mann and his patrons, the commission said it made the point "that the long history of problems surrounding these premises indicates that it attracts a number of undesirable people and the licensee is therefore advised to establish more robust management practices to ensure that the business of these premises is operated in a more responsible manner…"

Mr Mann said it was unrealistic for the commission to think his patrons "come in Armani suits" and they were simply different from those frequenting areas such as Subiaco and Leederville.

"The people here are different and I said in my submissions those people are still entitled to nightclubs," he said.

"A lot of people don't know how to behave in public but we discourage those and we work really carefully with the crowd we have got to make sure they behave well and they dress properly.

"We knock back people constantly who are not dressed properly.

"Every single night I get people who turn up in flannelette shirts, we refuse them entry and we've been refusing them for 20 years but they still turn up because they think 'this is my good flannelette shirt'."

Last week the commission also awarded costs of $7040 to Zelda's licensee Tocoan to be paid by the City of Rockingham.

The authority previously ruled the council had launched vexatious proceedings against the venue over restrictions.

City of Rockingham mayor Barry Sammels said the city had spent about $250,000 on legal bills over the past three years on the complaints.

He said the council felt justified in those complaints because they were made on behalf of ratepayers who wanted the city to "challenge the sustained antisocial behaviour, vandalism and general disturbances in this precinct".

'Every single night I get people who turn up in flannelette shirts, we refuse them entry. We've been refusing them for 20 years.'"Zelda's owner *Kevin Mann *

The West Australian

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