Pastor attempts – but fails – to stop bar from opening near his church

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By Latrishka Thomas

[email protected]

The efforts of one pastor to stop a new bar from opening in Belmont failed when Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh granted a liquor licence to the bar owner.

In July when the court was reviewing liquor licence applications, many persons were successful but Susan Shaw, the owner of ‘Rite Yah So Chill Spot’, was not because a pastor in the community objected.

Pastor Oscar Cottom of Belmont Christian Church and Shaw were called to court on Wednesday for Chief Magistrate Walsh to hear Cottom’s concerns.

He objected to the opening of the establishment on the basis that the bar was too close to the church which has sessions a few days a week.

The court convened at the site of the church and bar the next day so that the magistrate could see for herself.

It was discovered that the pastor himself lives near Shaw and it was also revealed that there is a gym in the area which also plays music.

In the end, the magistrate saw no reason to deny the licence. She however stipulated that Shaw cannot open the bar on Sundays and must keep the noise at a moderate level.

Walsh said that she was surprised that it was a pastor who was objecting to the opening of the bar and not members of the community.

She noted that there is antagonism between the individuals and therefore asked them to find a way to reconcile their differences.

She also indicated that more members of the community would have to complain or petition for the licence to be revoked.

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