ONE of Liverpool’s top nightspots has been allowed to remain open after its owners brokered an eleventh hour deal with police.
The Newz Bar was the subject of an appeal by licensing police against a decision by the council, in February, to allow the bar to continue trading despite a spate of violence on the premises.
But on Friday, ahead of yesterday’s court hearing, lawyers for Merseyside Police said a deal had been struck and the force would be withdrawing its case against Liverpool council’s decision not to revoke the licence.
At the February council licensing hearing, the force outlined several incidents in recent years, including a suspected sexual assault, stabbings and glassings, culminating at the end of January with two men suffering knife wounds after an incident involving “prominent criminals”.
But before District Judge Miriam Shelvey yesterday, police lawyers said the agreement by the Newz Bar’s owners, City Life Leisure, to replace the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) was enough for them to withdraw their objections to it being allowed to stay open for business.
Solicitor Kendrick Horne said: “We are simply abandoning the appeal having had a written undertaking from the bar which is sufficient for our purposes, and each side (the council and the police) has agreed to bear its own costs.
“The DPS is going to be replaced within this week, and we are content.”
He added that while the police “were not suggesting (the bar) will renege its undertaking”, the force would bring the case back before a judge if it did. The case put forward for closure by the police, rejected by city licensing officers earlier this year, included that management had “ignored police advice” and let in a man who was then alleged to have been responsible for the stabbing, in late January, of two male customers.
Julian Flanagan, of City Leisure, vowed the bar would be made “the safest venue in Liverpool” if it survived the attempt to have it closed down.
He said: “We have operated one of Liverpool’s most successful and popular leisure venues for over 12 years and this is a very isolated occurrence. However, one incident of this kind is one too many. We have now taken decisive steps to further tighten security procedures and I am determined to make this the safest bar in Liverpool city centre.”
The security firm was replaced, and knife arches put into the premises.
The bar has been popular with celebrities and sports stars since its opening in 2000
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