Wetherby High Street bar to stay open after licence review

The Angel. (1403115AM1)
The Angel. (1403115AM1)
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A High Street bar is keeping its licence and remains open for business following a committee decision this week.

A review of The Angel’s licence – a sports bar above the Italian restaurant Sant’ Angelo – was recommended to Leeds City Council by West Yorkshire Police following a series of complaints since the current licence holders took over the premises in 2009.

The sub-committee reviewing the licence decided on Tuesday that the establishment could keep its licence, with some added conditions.

Catherine Spence, co-owner of The Angel and Sant’ Angelo Italian restaurant, said: “We are highly delighted that we have won the case.

“The Angel is still open, we have still got the licence, and the restaurant is open as usual. We employ a lot of people here and if we had closed down it would have a knock-on effect on this part of Wetherby, but we have still got the licence and that is good news.”

The police requested the review after receiving information on drug use, violent crime and the sale of alcohol to under-age customers.

Alleged instances of violent crime taking place on the premises or as customers were leaving were raised as a major concern by the police. This did not involve the Sant Angelo restaurant.

PC Lynn Dobson, of Leeds District Licensing, said: “We are pleased with the outcome of the review which has put significant additional conditions on how the premises must be run.

“We hope this latest review will also serve to remind those who operate licensed premises irresponsibly of the type of positive action we can take against them. We will continue to monitor the situation as part of our ongoing work to keep people safe in Wetherby’s night-time economy by ensuring the licensed premises are properly run.”

According to a council spokesman, the licensing sub-committee agreed a number of changes should be made to reflect concerns that had been raised based on evidence and submissions made.

The times that the upstairs area is able to serve and be open were reduced to ensure it is empty by 11.30pm and admission to the premises will be stopped after 10.30pm.

He said: “The downstairs area will also need to have at least three quarters of the area set aside for dining – a minimum of 120 covers. We have also updated some conditions about use of CCTV.”

The licensee will have 21 days to appeal the conditions.

The bar’s owners have, however, confirmed that they too will be making some changes of their own to The Angel.

Ms Spence said: “We are changing upstairs into a full- blown function suite, and we are going to be spending a substantial amount of money on the refurbishment to completely revamp it.

“We will roughly spend £500,000 on the refurbishment, so it will be top notch, and we are going to be catering for weddings, engagements, birthdays, and all that sort of thing.”

Wetherby Coun Gerald Wilkinson (Con) said he was pleased with the decision.

“The problem was the bar on the first floor which attracted a younger clientele, rather than the very popular Sant’ Angelo restaurant on the ground floor,” he said.

“I am delighted that the licensing sub-committee did not use their ultimate sanction of closing this venue, but instead chose to impose stringent conditions on the licence, such as reducing the hours, which will keep this very popular Italian restaurant open and, at the same time, reduce the use of the first-floor bar.

“I would hope that the management will take heed of this ‘shot across the bow’ and take the necessary steps to ensure that the police have no further concerns.”