Cocktail bar Crying Wolf wins right to stay open later

cocktail bar crying wolf wins right to stay open later - Cocktail bar Crying Wolf wins right to stay open later

An “unapologetically expensive” cocktail bar has won permission to stay open until 1.30am after an unusual show of support from residents.

Crying Wolf in Cotham Hill received an extension to its licensed hours despite concerns from Bristol City Council’s noise pollution and neighbourhood enforcement teams about public nuisance because the premises are next to homes in the Whiteladies Road cumulative impact area (CIA).

But after hearing neighbours and community groups backed the proposals, councillors approved the application.

Licensing sub-committee members were told there were no objections from the police and that no complaints about noise had been received since it opened 14 months ago.

The premises’ existing licence allowed it to serve alcohol until 11.30pm and food until midnight seven days a week.

It can now sell both until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays and 12.30am from Sunday to Thursday, plus half an hour’s drinking-up time.

The sub-committee, meeting remotely for the first time because of the lockdown, heard three residents lodged objections and six wrote in support.

Crying Wolf solicitor Ewen Macgregor told the hearing on Thursday, April 23: “The central issue to this application is the amenity of the local community and whether granting the licence is likely or unlikely to add to any cumulative impact.

“It is unlikely to add to that.”

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He said it was significant that neither the local residents’ association nor Avon & Somerset Police objected because both had been instrumental in setting up the CIA, which is aimed at preventing further late-night noise for neighbours.

Mr Macgregor said Crying Wolf’s sister premises in Bath, The Dark Horse, were described by police as “very low risk” despite having a licence until 2.30am in a CIA.

He said owner Louis Smith was an integral part of the community and lived just 50 yards from the Redland eatery.

Mr Macgregor said: “It is a condition of the licence that the premises must be operated as a restaurant and bar.

“They cannot become a pub or a bar without significant variations to the conditions.

“Louis has invested £350,000 in this property, £50,000 in the kitchen, and has taken on a 15-year lease, so he has no intention of moving on.

“It is important to him that the products on the drinks menu are not only high quality and locally sourced but they are unapologetically expensive.”

He said a number of temporary event notices (TENs) had been granted and held, some until 2am and 4am, and that the premises were run so responsibly that neighbours did not notice.

Sarah Flower, of the council’s regulatory services, said: “Conditions of the licence are that they shall operate as a restaurant and bar, however, the request to extend the hours gives us cause for concern that the premises will become solely a bar, increasing the risk of public nuisance.

“The application seeks an extension into hours normally considered sleeping hours and as such represents a risk to public nuisance in this mixed retail and residential area.

“There are residential flats immediately above the premises.

“According to our records there have been no complaints in respect of these premises.”

Hampton Park and Cotham Hill Community Group founder and chairwoman Dr Jill White told the hearing she was in an “exceptional” situation where the majority of the organisation’s members backed later opening hours.

She said: “Louis has given 100 per cent support to local people.

“It is exceptional that we will have supported something like this.

“We are slightly anxious that there will be noise but when everything gets back to normal, I have absolutely no qualms about it.

“We had no idea the TENs allowed them to be open until 2am or 4am, which speaks for itself.

“Louis runs his business ethically and it is an asset to the area.

“I do not think I will ever be saying that again at a licencing meeting.”

She said Mr Smith, managing director of applicants Thats What She Said, was a member of the community group.

Announcing the panel’s decision, sub-committee chairwoman Cllr Eleanor Combley said: “We consider this to be a responsible application in respect of a premises unique and providing something different to the area.

“The council’s CIA policy is triggered but we are satisfied from the evidence we’ve heard that the operation of the premises will not add to the cumulative impact already experienced in the area.”

The application was granted subject to conditions agreed beforehand with the police and council.

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