Topless bar is ‘over the top’ for Byron Bay

A NEW bar in Byron Bay rumoured to have topless female staff has drawn the ire of Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson who has described the concept as "low brow".

Cr Richardson told the ABC yesterday the bar, allegedly The Bay at Byron on Fletcher St, a business name registered under a Gold Coast post office address, opened on Friday.

Cr Richardson told The Northern Star he had not visited the premises nor spoken to the owner, and was not 100% sure whether rumours were true that the bar also had private viewing booths.

Regardless, the topless concept would cheapen the name of Byron Bay, he said.

"It's like jelly wrestling or wet t-shirt competitions," he said.

"All of those things lower the identity of the town and they are not adding to our community.

"It adds a low-brow element and a 'party as you will' attitude which is what we are trying to get rid of."

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Cr Richardson said the council was unable to oppose the bar as it had existing use approval and a liquor and restaurant licence, but he had spoken to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing and the council's compliance staff to ask for assurance the bar would be checked for compliance with all regulations.

Topless bar, The Bay at Byron, Byron Bay.
Topless bar, The Bay at Byron, Byron Bay. Contributed

If the topless bar goes ahead, it could hurt Byron Bay's reputation, said Ben Kirkwood, vice president of the town's tourism body, VIA Byron.

"Businesses should fit with community values, and I don't see this as appropriate or sympathetic with Byron Bay," Mr Kirkwood said.

"We have enough problems with young, intoxicated males in the town.

"This will just send intoxicated and sexually frustrated young men out onto the street at night."

At the time of going to press the OLGR had not responded to The Northern Star's request for information regarding the licensing of The Bay at Byron.

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