Anger over alcohol plan at Shoreditch motorcycle gallery

Gallery of Bikes in Paris

Gallery of Bikes in Paris - Credit: Archant

Venue says club is for “gentlemen bikers”

Dad and Kid

Dad and Kid - Credit: Archant

The opening of a new gallery space and bar has alarmed neighbours over its potential impact on the growing noise levels in what is a Special Policy Area (SPA).

The Bike Shed, a venue dedicated to exhibiting rare motorbikes, in Old Street, has applied for a licence to supply alcohol and to provide “regulated entertainment” until 11pm, Monday to Sunday .

But residents think Shoreditch is already saturated with bars.

A letter of objection from the Shoreditch Community Association said: “The stretch of Old Street near the corner with Shoreditch High Street is quite simply a disaster on weekends. The addition of another drinking establishment would, by definition, add to the cumulative impact on the neighbourhood.”

Other Kid

Other Kid - Credit: Archant

The Shoreditch Town Hall Trust also expressed concern about the venue, with which the building shares a wall.

It said: “We would be grateful for some reassurances about the applicant’s controls relating to the movement of motorcycles on site, particularly in light of the proposal to sell alcohol to customers.

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“Although we accept noise from motorcycles may not directly relate to licensable activities, we have noticed an increase in noise from high revving engines since the applicant moved in.”

Applicant Anthony von Someren, 48, was keen to assuage fears that the club would increase antisocial behaviour.

Bike exhibit April

Bike exhibit April - Credit: Archant

He said the site had not yet been built so the levels of motorcycle noise would be unrelated.

He added the group had put on international shows and had never had trouble with the police but also said he would engage with anybody who has concerns.

“Motorbiking is an expensive hobby. Most of the people coming to these events are in their 40s, they have families, so they’re not big drinkers. Drinking and driving on the motorbike is highly unlikely but it is something we would absolutely have a zero tolerance policy for,” he continued.

“When you put on an event people expect a bar. It’s a gallery space; we put on exhibitions with bikes worth £30,000 up to £50,000. We’re not going to be encouraging drinking here. It’s for gentlemen bikers and their wives and family.

“We are a bunch of creative media people trying to make something cool and exciting, a creative exhibition space not a gang of scary bikers.”

We want to be accepted for what we are - not what people are afraid we might be.”