Topless takeaway opens

 NEWCASTLE City Council has closed a loophole that allowed a Carrington takeaway store to employ topless waitresses to serve hungry tradesmen.

Two council officers advised Beth’s Takeaway proprietors Beth and Kevin Schell yesterday that their store was classified as a restricted (over 18s) premises while the topless women were working.

The notice means the store cannot continue to provide the Friday lunchtime service, which it was hoped would revive its fortunes.

Ms Schell said the topless takeaway initiative, which began yesterday, had resulted in a three-fold increase in lunchtime trade.

‘‘It’s a shame we can’t do it again but we are hoping they enjoyed the burgers as much as the boobs,’’ Ms Schell said.

‘‘A lot of the guys said they really enjoyed our food.’’

Tradesman Mark Calderwood was among those who dropped in for lunch.

‘‘I think it’s great. Only prudes would have a problem with it,’’ he said.

But not everyone was impressed.

Carrington Public School P&C member Elaine Darby  sat near the store’s entrance in protest. 

‘‘This is wrong. I  have lived here 76 years and this is one of the worst things I’ve seen,’’ she said. 

‘‘It would be different if it was on at night time. We are concerned about the impact on the school children across the road.’’

A Department of Education spokesman said it did not appear that any parents had kept their children away from school because of the store’s activity.

Carrington parent and P&C member Belinda Epstein said she was relieved the event had been a one-off.

‘‘We were disappointed that it happened at all but we are happy the council has acted,’’ she said.

A mediation meeting scheduled for 7pm on Monday  at Carrington Bowling Club will still go ahead.

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