But that goodwill has evaporated. Locals say the excessive noise and drunken customers have made their lives miserable.
Residents have said drinkers look through their front windows, smokers light up next to their units and men pee in their driveways.
Those with balconies overlooking the car park don’t use them when the beer garden is open for fear of being accosted by the pub’s visitors, while the nearby streets are packed with cars.
Complaints to Kick On Group, the company that owns the pub, and the council have brought little change, they said.
“I can’t open my doors or windows when they are in operation. The pub has shown no sense in easing our suffering,” said another resident, Natalie Jones, who claimed to have installed double glazing to little effect.
“They call themselves ‘the locals’ local’ and that’s ironic. It has so little touch with the area they are in.”
While the beer garden was often in full swing on weekends, residents said the space was also used for major sporting events and other scheduled parties, usually without notice.
“Someone was there having a wedding, we could hear people’s speeches and the wedding music. I felt like I was there,” said resident Tomoko Hyakumura.
The owners of Terminus recently submitted plans to Yarra City Council to make the beer garden permanent as part of a more than $1 million redevelopment.
The proposal includes an increase in capacity from 443 to 645, live music and an extension of trading hours to 1am in parts of the pub.
Jesse Bates, an owner of one of the units next door, said the Terminus was becoming a “dominant” presence in the area with his plans for further expansion.
“The way they use the space is telling. They put their loud, rowdy events in the parking lot,” he said. “They don’t use the pub for those things, they use the car park.”
A Yarra City Council spokesperson said officers had investigated residents’ complaints but found nothing that violated local law.
Craig Shearer, founder of Kick On Group, said he bought the pub in December 2019 on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the venue was closed for 262 days.
He said the pub could only resume business under the government’s outdoor dining programme, which was introduced in October 2020.
“During this time, we have always worked within the required laws and conditions and have had numerous inspections from the council, police and liquor licenses,” he said in an emailed statement.
“On each occasion the finding has been that we are operating legally and that there are no infringements” [have] committed.”
Shearer said a “very small number” of local residents had expressed concerns about the beer garden, but the pub’s owners had tried to work with them.
He said the outdoor area closed by 10pm at the latest and was enjoyed primarily as a dining attraction for young families.
“The problems between the pub and the neighboring residents are not new and did not arise suddenly during COVID,” he said.
Shearer said the development plans would significantly reduce lingering tensions with its neighbors.
“We designed a space where families and diners can continue to use the amenities, without disturbing the tenants who are right next to the adjacent fence,” he said.
“[We] are proud to be locals.”
A spokesperson for Planning Minister Lizzie Blandthorn said: locations should be allowed to trade outside without a permit until October 2023, one year after the end of the pandemic statement.
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