The unlicensed dry bar was set up in June to cater for those wishing to keep partying after licensed bars were required to close at 4am. Its alcohol-free status means it could open at midnight and stay open until 8am.
GayNZ reports that Tap was set up by the owner of established Auckland gay bar, Family. Tap stands for The After Party.
Co-owner Grady Elliott told the NZ Herald that Tap would not close, but he would apply for a liquor license and relaunch it as a more traditional nightclub. He said it had proved tough to get those patrons who did turn up to spend money.
Dry bars are a burgeoning trend overseas – here’s a rundown by the Guardian of various London outlets – and as reported in this month’s NZ Retail, New Zealand’s rate of alcohol consumption is dropping by a rate of about two percent per annum. However, Elliott has concluded that the Kiwi public was still not ready for a bar without alcohol.
“We gave it a shot and Auckland drinking culture just didn’t tie in with the dry bar. No one showed up,” he told the Herald.
“We took it by the balls and gave it a punt. We knew it could have gone either way and we were prepared for it.”