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Wellington’s number two facilities are mostly number one

Sep 7th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Article, News

BARE BASICS: The loo at Olive - rustic, bare, clean, well stocked. Typical of what awaits RWC fans.

 By Nick Gray and Christine Linnell

RUGBY World Cup fans visiting Wellington can generally feel safe while using toilets in bars and restaurants.

NewsWire conducted an unscientific survey of the toilets in over 30 bars and restaurants on Cuba St and Courtenay Place to check the general state of the facilities and found most of them to be in good shape.

Standards we applied included cleanliness, lighting, size of mirrors and wash basins, availability of hot water, toilet paper, soap and hand dryers, clear signposting and accessibility for the disabled.

While the majority of the toilets were clean, well lit, and well stocked with everything one could need for a bathroom break, there were in some slightly concerning instances.

The worst was found in Satay Kingdom in Left Bank off Cuba Mall, where the unisex toilet was dirty and had no working lights or paper.

Some 11 checked had no hot water for washing, although all had soap and some way of drying your hands – paper towels and/or blowers.

A handful of the toilets surveyed were not clearly marked in regards to location within the restaurants and bars, and may be difficult to find for first-time visitors.

The Establishment toilet on the ground floor, for example, could not be found on first glance, taking a second visit with another’s set of eyes.

Some toilets would not be easily accessible to someone in a wheelchair, with narrow corridors, tight cubicles and in some instances stairs, all inhibiting one’s ability for a clear passage to the bowl.

The larger, high-traffic businesses on Courtenay Place and Cuba St, like The Establishment, Molly Malone’s (below) and J J Murphy’s, tended to have the cleanest and most comfortable facilities.

“We’ve got cleaners who come in every night,” says J J Murphy’s general manager Mick Moore. “Staff check them over increments all night.”

Smaller venues like Kebab Bros on Courtenay Place had less-glamorous toilets, but tended to still provide all the basic amenities.

While individuals can generally wander off the streets and use the facilities, in some cases they are just for patrons, such as Satay Kingdom’s locked toilets.

Mr Moore is not strict about the patrons-only rule, saying it is mainly to keep out random drunks and create a safe environment for customers at J J Murphy’s.

“The general public – it’s no problem. It’s just to keep away the riff-raff and the trouble-makers.”

His restaurant’s male toilets underwent major renovation earlier this year. Similarly, Burger King on the corner of Manners St and Cuba St is redecorating.

For those worried about using a restaurant restroom without being a paying patron, the toilets at the Reading Cinema complex are a safe bet, providing a number of cubicles in a clean public environment.

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