The recently launched South Australian gaming bar 'Pimp Pad' has run into hot water with Adelaide city council, with one councillor labelling it an 'adult entertainment venue' and grouping it alongside ‘so-called massage establishments' (in the Adelaide City Council Meeting - Minutes - 23 August 2011a).
The venue received development approval from Adelaide City Council earlier this year and was originally granted approval to apply for a liquor license. This decision was then retroactively rejected.
The application for a liquor license was challenged by city councillor Anne Moran, who objected to the venue's close proximity to a high school. Concerns were initially raised by Eynesbury College, with local councillor Moran taking up the school's cause.
The Pimp Pad boasts 55 high performance Origin PC systems for competitive LAN gaming.
"I moved motion in council that we oppose the granting of a liquor license to Pimp TV on the grounds that it's next door to a school," Moran explained in a Triple J radio interview that aired yesterday.
The motion called on the council to prepare a Development Plan Amendment that would take into account "the educational and welfare needs of students and the education community".
Pimp Pad: Seedy adult entertainment?
We spoke to PiMP.tv's chief marketing executive, Aron Jackson about the battle to attain a license.
"It's definitely frustrating. We got approval to change the site to a licensed computer games venue months ago, and everything went smoothly. The fact we've suddenly been vilified as a seedy adult entertainment venue is completely unfair and inaccurate."
For those who missed our launch coverage, the Pimp Pad is a three-story 'Gamers Bar and Lounge' that allows customers to check out the latest games on PC, Xbox 360, iPad and PlayStation 3 while having a drink or a bite to eat.
The bar is an extension of the Pimp.tv brand – an online website and video show famous for its sexual innuendo and scantily-clad presenters.
Pimp.tv's chief presenter, Christina Halkiopoulos.
Despite the somewhat bawdy nature of the online publication, Jackson has repeatedly stressed that the bar is a family-friendly establishment with not a buxom waitress in sight.
"We need to get girls in there too, so busty barmaids probably isn't the way to go," Aron told us last month.
We contacted Anne Moran and asked her to outline her chief objections to the Pimp Pad's location.
"The Pimp Pad shares a building with a school for 14 to 18 year olds who have no parental supervision. It should never have been approved," Moran explained to us. "...I think it's an inappropriate business [for the location] anyway. My personal opinion is that the kids from the school shouldn't be playing adult, racy games. But the liquor license makes it even worse. I think the addition of a liquor license will see the venue morph into an establishment where women serve drinks in pink bikinis."
Adelaide City Council is still in debate over the decision. Some members of the legislative council have moved to rescind the decision to reject the license at the next council meeting on 28th September. We'll keep you posted with any updates.
The 'gaming bar' phenomena is a relatively new concept that has begun to spring up in various locations around the world. Other examples include the Dragon's Quest-themed Luda's Bar in Tokyo Japan, and Australia's Mana Bar, which currently has establishments in both Melbourne and Brisbane (a Sydney bar is also on the way).
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