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City-centre bar Swank will be re-opening February 4th following a 28-day closure. According to a document published by the Lancaster City Council’s Licensing Act Sub-Committee from the review hearing, which took place on January 4th, “the Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary [had] submitted an application for a review of the premises licence for Swank bar” in December, under the grounds of “prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public
nuisance and the protection of children from harm.”
Section 51 (1) of the Licensing Act 2003 says that the grounds for a licensing review must relate to at least one of the licensing objectives listed above.
Licensee Daniel Binnie told SCAN that Swank are “re-organising [their] operation and implementing the conditions that have been placed on [their] premises licence.”
The document also revealed that the review had the support of the Environmental Health Services due to the fact that they had “a history of complaints of noise arising from the late night operation of the Swank Night Club.”
An article in the Lancaster Guardian stated that music from the bar had caused disturbances “to customers and staff two doors down at The Brown Cow.” Guests at the Travelodge in the centre of Lancaster also received refunds after complaining of a lack of sleep.
Binnie acknowledged that Swank “are guilty of noise pollution” and have since “apologised to [their] neighbours.”
The police felt that licence holder Daniel Binnie had “continually shown a blatant disregard to the licensing objectives over the past 10 months despite being issued with several warnings,” as reported in the review.
Binnie commented that he is positive about the future of Swank and has taken the closure seriously. However, he does feel that Swank has “been made an example out of by the council and the police” but “will continue to be Lancaster’s true House venue.”
The Lancaster Guardian reported that two separate incidents of violence in December had prompted the police to make a request for the review. These incidents involved a man being “kicked unconscious outside the premises and another man had his jaw broken while he was in the bar’s toilets.”
A statement from Lancashire Police Press Office outlined that “Police have been called to attend over 30 incidents at Swank bar for a variety of reasons over the last 12 months. This includes nine incidents relating to anti-social behaviour; five relating to assaults and one relating to drugs offences.”
However, Binnie commented that “we have had two violent attacks in the last 14 months,” adding that “if you compare that to our competitors it is an extremely low number.”
The re-opening of the bar will see new refurbishments, including new lighting and a new floor, along with guest DJ Andy Ferrell. Binnie urges people to “keep Swanky.”
In other news, popular bar and restaurant collaboration, Touro and Bar Eleven, have also been reported as being closed. The Lancaster Guardian said that “there has been no sign of life at Bar Eleven and Touro” since they were last open on December 31st.