Hotel plans last orders for Yarmouth’s seafront Long Bar
- Credit: James Bass
A landmark seaside hotel has finally solved a long-running problem over a noisy ground floor bar and lap dancing club - by buying them.
The owners of the New Beach Hotel on Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile, Leisureplex, announced this week they had secured the basement and ground floor - annexed in the 1970s from the 75-bedroom complex - ending 20 years of conflict between its generally older guests and young clubbers.
It marks the end of an era for The Long Bar - popular with revellers who were able to enjoy 20 hours of drinking until 6am, and the Angels lap-dancing nightclub.
Leisureplex managing director Paul Sawbridge, said: 'For more than 20 years we have suffered from noise from people visiting the various bars underneath the hotel, in the basement and on the ground floor of the building. This purchase means our clients will no longer suffer noise disturbance from the bars and that the bedrooms at the front of the building can be fully utilised.
'We will be spending the next few months developing plans for a complete refurbishment of the ground floor and the upper floors of the building.
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'The New Beach is in the best position in Great Yarmouth and the redevelopment of the hotel will complement the good work the local authority has already done to improve the quality of the environment in this part of town.
'We believe we will see a significant increase in visitors now that the noise has been eliminated.'
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A spokesman at Great Yarmouth Borough Council said the 6am licence was transferred from Long Bar owners Envoyfirst to administrators Begbies Trayner in November, however under a voluntary agreement aimed at cracking down on violence many of the seafront's bars are now being asked to close at 4am.
Neighbours and the hotel, held their hands up against 6am closing in 2006. At the time manager Shane Butcher said he had spent £30,000 to reduce the 'thumping bass.'
The New Beach Hotel was completed in 1885 for the Norwich brewery Steward and Patteson having cost £5,878. As the Queen's Hotel it was among the most lavish in the town entertaining a new breed of visitor encouraged by the expanding rail network and also the Bank Holiday Act of 1870 which gave people a day off for the first time.
The combination of factors gave rise to a surge in late Victorian development in many seaside towns as wealthy trippers looked to take advantage of the sea air. At that time it was owned by the prominent Nightingale family.
Leisureplex, a sister company of Alfa travel which brings coach loads of mainly over-50s visitors to the resort, owns and operates 20 hotels, all in 'stunning' locations. It took over the hotel in 1991 and co-existed with the bar until late licensing laws came in, the pound of music into the early hours keeping hotel guests awake.
Group marketing manager Emma Walton said the future of the ground floor was undecided with plans being worked up for separate units and another to incorporate the space into the hotel. The time-scale of the refurbishment would depend on how much the work impacted on guests, she said, adding: 'Angels will not be re-opening in any form. We are still considering what to do about the Long Bar. We may re-open it as a bar for this summer but whatever we decide to do it will not be open after 11pm and will not play loud music.'
John Nightingale ran the Royal Aquarium (Hollywood) and the Theatre Royal (demolished in 1929 when the Regal cinema was built on the site). He lived at Shadingfield Lodge (now Grosvenor Casino), was the caterer at the Assembly Rooms (now Masonic Lodge) and owned Queens, Royal and Victoria hotels.