‘Old-timers' remember a different era at pubs
PAUL Baxter recalls the days when pubs closed early and men fought face to face, then had a beer together afterwards.
"I've always been in hospitality, since 1974," Mr Baxter said.
"I remember as a young fella pubs used to close at 6pm. (People) used to finish work at 4-4.30pm and they used to race to the bar to get your alcohol before 6pm.
"6pm was a little early... they talk about binge-drinking, but back then people were coming in and buying six to 10 beers and making pigs of themselves, because they knew it was a 6pm close."
With new laws proposed for Queensland, including a 1am lockout and alcohol service ending at 3am for areas in safe night precincts, Mr Baxter was unsure of what positive change that will have.
"I don't think it'll bother the hotel game but I can't get my head around how it's going to work," he said.
"I think it'll promote more home violence, and a lot more parties with kids with Facebook... that's what's happening on the Gold Coast where cars and houses get trashed."
As a young man, Mr Baxter said "cowardly" acts like one-punch incidents were not really seen.
"If there was a fight in the bar you'd come outside and have it out... then if you knocked your mate down, you'd pick him up and say 'Come on, I'll shout you a beer'. Now it's a coward act. They'll hit you from behind. There's no gentlemen's agreement any more," he said.
Since taking over the McGuire's CBD Hotel two years ago, he has made changes to ensure it's a safe venue.
"I haven't had a fight here in two years. We can blame whatever we want to blame... they come out full of drugs, but I think once they have some alcohol it fuels the drug and you can't control it," he said.
Customer Mick Flanagan, who is a boilermaker drinks not to get drunk, but to be social.
"There's no need for it (coward punches). It's gutless," he said.
"You can't blame everything on alcohol. With the drugs they're on these days... mix them both together and you've got a disaster waiting to happen."