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People power scuppers round the clock license in De Beauvoir

PUBLISHED: 14:49 23 June 2011 | UPDATED: 15:15 23 June 2011

The Duke of York pub in Downham Road which will soon open as Duke's Joint. Photo credit Emma Bartholomew

The Duke of York pub in Downham Road which will soon open as Duke's Joint. Photo credit Emma Bartholomew

Archant

An application to open a new 24 hour round-the-clock drinking venue in the De Beauvoir conservation area met with so much opposition that opening hours have been limited to midnight.

Hackney Council was flooded with letters and a petition with over 100 signatures opposing Duke’s Joint – formerly the Duke of York - in Downham Road, which had been shut down for antisocial behaviour.

Nearby residents were horrified at the thought of a pub opening 24-hours, serving serving alcohol until 5am at the weekend.

But at a licensing committee meeting last week in the Town Hall, applicants Byron Knight and Logan Plant reassured residents they wanted to open a high quality gastro pub rather than an all-night party venue.

“We have no intention of opening a disco or nightclub in any way, shape or form,” said US-born Mr Knight, who also runs Off Broadway Bar in Broadway Market.

“Coming from LA and New York we loved being able to go to a good restaurant and have a hot meal served to us and to talk to our friends at 2:30am and not be forced to socialize in a noisy nightclub.

“I was hoping to be able to provide reliable mid-to-high end table service dinning after midnight, when the only other option in Hackney is kebab take away shops,” he added, conceding that he would be willing to reduce the operating hours.

The licensing committee approved opening hours of 9am to midnight Monday to Sunday, with all music ending at 11pm, telling Mr Knight he could apply for longer hours once the pub opened and had gained the trust of residents.

Some residents at the meeting were appeased by the move, although others said they were still concerned about the noise generated by the outside smoking area – where 10 people at a time have been given permission to congregate.

The owners plan to serve hand crafted ales, bitters and lagers made at the on-site microbrewery.

Quarterly meetings will be held to ensure residents can raise any concerns they have.


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