Barcode Lounge and Bar executive chef Nick Hammond in front of the new gay, lesbian, intersex and transgender friendly bar in Dickson. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Canberra’s new lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex friendly bar is set to open on Saturday after an apparent misunderstanding over liquor legislation.
Barcode owner Ian Goudie had previously sought legal advice regarding gender neutral toilets, believing them to be disallowed under ACT liquor legislation.
But a Justice and Community Safety Directorate spokeswoman said there was no discrimination regarding signage requirements on bathrooms.
No signs ... Barcode Lounge and Bar staff member Maz Wakamatsu and owner Ian Goudie in front of the bar's toilets. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
“The Liquor Act does not require any gender signage to be placed on the toilet doors,” she said.
“[The Office of Regulatory Services] is of the view that the regulation provides sufficient flexibility for licensees to choose to configure their toilets in a unisex manner.”
Mr Goudie declined providing further comment when contacted by Fairfax Media on Friday.
Earlier, he said he wanted to have gender neutral bathrooms with no distinct signage.
“If someone wants to use a bathroom and they don’t identify as a male or a female, you can’t discriminate against them,” he said.
“They can use whatever bathroom they identify as.”
Mr Goudie said the establishment would officially open at 7.30am on Saturday, operating as a bagel bar and lunch venue during the day before converting to a lounge space and bar in the evening.
He said the public response had been overwhelming with 170 people applying for the handful of advertised positions.
Executive chef Nicholas Hammond said the venue was staffed by members of the LGBTI community, which it would also support financially.
He said 50 cents from every coffee sold would go back to gender diverse organisations including A Gender Agenda and Diversity ACT.
“Every coffee we sell, a percentage goes back to the community,” he said.