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Norwich bar denied in bid to extend opening hours until 4am

PUBLISHED: 19:34 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:38 27 September 2018

New Bished bar in Prince of Wales Road Picture: Neil Perry

New Bished bar in Prince of Wales Road Picture: Neil Perry

Archant

A Norwich bar described as the legacy of its director, who was found dead earlier this month, has been denied in a bid to extend its opening hours.

At a meeting of Norwich City Council’s licensing sub-committee on Wednesday, members unanimously voted to halt plans for the former Rocco’s on Prince of Wales to extend its opening hours, allowing it to stay open until 4am.

Now known as Bished, the venue was the brainchild of Ibish Peri, who was director of the club and son of its owner, Steve Peri.

And members were told it was under his business model that the application had been submitted and extended hours were sought.

Gavin Tempest, the licensing consultant representing the venue, said: “Without Ibish, there would be no Bished and the venue will be a big part of the legacy he leaves.”

Mr Tempest explained the application was not for a new premises licence, but instead a variation on the existing one held for Rocco’s.

The variations included seeking permission for the bar to host plays and readjust its lay-out, while also extending its opening hours.

The proposed late opening times, though, prompted concerns from Norfolk Police’s licensing team, who felt it could create crime and disorder issues.

Michelle Bartram, Norfolk Police’s licensing officer, argued that as Rocco’s was partly operated as a restaurant - something that will not be the case for Bished - that opening until 4am would not be appropriate, given the greater focus on drinking.

Mr Tempest, however, argued the new entertainment being proposed, including circus performers, would mean it would attract a “more high-end” customer.

However, members of the committee unanimously voted against allowing the new venue to open beyond 2am, the times operated by Rocco’s.

At the beginning of the meeting, Hugo Malik, chairman of the sub-committee, offered his “deepest condolences” to the family, a sentiment echoed by the police’s licensing officer.

However, while the extended opening hours were denied, the venue was granted permission to host plays and its lay-out changes were approved.

David Lowens, nplaw solicitor for the council, explained the decision could be appealed at magistrates’ court.

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