Julian Hobson, the co-owner of the popular Pick n Pay in the Fish Hoek Arcade has written a letter to test the public reception of a proposal for a liquor license for his retail store.  “I really want to start a conversation and hear what the community’s views are. I would like to get as many people as possible to voice their opinions in a coherent way. “ Quote from the People’s Post.

Fish Hoek is well known for a title deed condition on the original farm which has been included in subsequent  property subdivisions which prohibits the establishment of a `public winehouse’ on any property in Fish Hoek.  This old title deed restriction on the sale of alcohol in the village was apparently aimed at reducing the incidence of drunken sailors in town and to ensure that the same were not waylaid by `watering holes’  to the extent that they missed their sailing deadlines.   Interesting that today, Simon’s Town has a bottle store. 

Whatever the original reason for the restrictions on the sale of liquor in Fish Hoek, this condition has been vigorously defended by locals in the past.  When I moved to Fish Hoek  in the early 1980s Fish Hoek, it was not even possible to purchase liquor from the local restaurants although you were permitted to bring your own bottle.  I remember a friend telling us that he had an arrangement with one of his favourite restaurants at the time whereby he simply asked the manager for that bottle of wine that he had `forgotten there’ on the occasion of his previous visit.  Fish Hoek has come a long way since those days in terms of being able to enjoy a glass of beer or wine with a meal.  The question now is what are the benefits and the costs (negative implications) to people doing business and shopping in Fish Hoek as well as to the surrounding businesses and people living near the CBD.  Once Pick n Pay is granted a liquor license, would it be fair to decline an application from Spar who applied for a license in the past or from Shoprite.  What are the implications of these retailers selling liquor or of a bottle store operating in Fish Hoek ?

Fish Hoek is surrounded by liquor outlets in Kalk Bay, Simon’s Town and Long Beach Mall.  Is there a real need and desirability for an outlet in Fish Hoek as well?  According to Janet Holwill, chairperson of the Fish Hoek Valley Residents and Ratepayers Association the vocal community has been anti any form of liquor off-sales and the matter will be raised at the FHVR&R meeting on Thursday 30 August 2012.  Add your voice either for or against to the question of whether or not a liquor license should be granted to Pick n Pay in Fish Hoek.

KimK