28 November 2010

Kenya: Local Bars Record Low Sales As Force of New Law Bites

Nairobi — The effects of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2009, were felt over the weekend in Mombasa as bars declined to sell beer to patrons before 2pm.

A spot check by the Nation revealed that bars within the central business district had been converted into hotels for the morning session only as a result of the stringent law coming into effect.

According to the new regulations, bars are to open to the public at 5pm on weekdays and 2pm on weekends.

"We are not selling beer for now until 2pm, but please you can order for a cup of tea as an alternative," a waitress at Millennium City club told a disappointment patron.

Bar owners said they had incurred huge losses because patrons feared being arrested of fined heavily.

However, it was business as usual in Tudor estate where pubs opened as early as 9am.

"I have not received any official communication indicating that I should not sell alcohol before or after any give time," said a bar owner who however declined to be named.

The Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya and the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers said the law will hit tourism because it bars parents from visiting hotels with their children.

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