Stone Roses Bar will reopen tomorrow (8 February) after councillors chose to renew its licence.
A petition backing the bar reached nearly 11,000 signatures after it had to close when its licence lapsed.
Police objected to plans for the licence to be renewed, saying they were called out to the venue 49 times last year and the bar “contributes to crime and disorder” in the city centre.
But Leo Charalambides, speaking on behalf of the bar at a licensing hearing, said police had got the policy wrong and he disputed their figures.
Huge community interest
He accused the council and police of “taking advantage of an administrative error”, and said:
If [the licensee] loses this licence today, he, his family and all his staff are out. And your city loses a valuable venue.
It might not be to your taste but it celebrates music of a particular era.
The community interest is huge in this case. [The police] just want to see this either shut down or severely curtailed.
He added that brewery Thwaites, which owns the building, had thrown its full support behind the venue.
The team behind Stone Roses Bar asked for a licence to play live music, sell alcohol and open from 11am to 2.30am seven days a week.
But Sergeant Jackie Booth from North Yorkshire Police said: “This venue directly contributes to crime and disorder in the city. York is experiencing huge difficulties in terms of the night time economy.”
She highlighted one incident where police were called because a member of door staff was assaulted when carrying out a drug search alone in January.
She said North Yorkshire Police wanted the licensing application to be refused.
‘Scary and sad’
Cllr Barbara Boyce, speaking to the applicant, said: “I’m sure you will understand the council’s wish to change the culture of the night time economy in places where it’s about people going out to get drunk as quickly as they can.
“This venue has drinking promotions, it advertises four drinks for £10.”
Cllr Christina Funnell said she was concerned about the venue being so close to the river, adding: “It’s actually quite threatening, scary and sad to see young people so drunk.
“The police are doing their best, with few resources.”
But Mr Charalambides said: “We are committed to promoting the licensing objectives to make a safer, attractive night out for everyone.
“We are happy to work with the licensing authority and to resurrect the pub watch scheme in York. We are very serious about turning this around.”
The bar was granted a licence in Thwaites’ name on condition it stops selling alcohol at 1am, reviews its promotions and has a welfare officer present on student nights.
Soon the news was shared by the bar on its Facebook page:
We cannot thank you all for your support throughout our closure. So… We’re pleased to announce, as of TOMORROW.
We’re BACK OPEN!!
Let the good times commence…