Reborn venue wants to open until 4am

Toast at Wood Street in St Annes wants to open until 4am.
Toast at Wood Street in St Annes wants to open until 4am.
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A town centre bar and restaurant in St Annes wants to extend its licence until 4am.

If successful in its bid for extra hours, Toast would be the first venue in Fylde to be allowed to operate so late.

Currently, the premises in Wood Street are licensed to served alcohol to 3am Thursday to Saturday, 2am Monday to Wednesday and to 12.30am on Sundays.

Management have applied to Fylde Council as the licensing authority for The Loft upstairs nightclub to be allowed to open until 4am seven days a week and for Toast to open until 2.30am Sunday to Wednesday and to 4am Thursday to Saturday.

Toast and The Loft opened in December in what was previously the Joya restaurant and nightspot but had been empty for the best part of two years.

Police are objecting to the plan amid concerns over the potential crime and disorder – but Toast officials today moved quickly to reassure the public.

It comes as Blackpool Council is set to consider consulting on plans for an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) to stop town centre bars and clubs in the resort opening after 3am.

Toast director Paul Horridge said the application had been made ‘by popular demand’ and that the company has a duty to ensure that business turnover is sufficient to sustain its existence.

“Since opening The Loft above our successful Toast Café Bar and Grill, the venue has gone from strength to strength in a tough time for anyone operating in the night time economy,” he said

“We have been delighted by the reaction to the club which is clearly filling a gap and providing a need in the night scene market place in the Fylde Council’s designated dining quarter for the local people of all ages.” The application will be heard by a panel of the Fylde Licensing Committee on May 28.

“Obviously the idea of being out and about until the early hours is not everyone’s cup of tea but club, goers are used to such things in larger towns and cities and it is a mistake to associate longer hours with an increased risk of trouble, noise or disruption.

“We have a strict door policy to maintain standards as we are a quality led business. The venue has a considerable amount of seating and we have introduced several new booth seating areas where our customers can relax over a nice cocktail or glass of champagne.”

The three Fylde councillors representing St Annes’ Central ward, in which Toast is located Ed Nash, Sue Fazackerley and Fabian Craig-Wilson, say they have only received one objection to the bar’s current hours between them and Coun Nash confirmed he had written a letter supporting the application.

“Toast has already brought several much needed jobs to St Anne’s - opening later will bring more which is to be welcomed,” he said.

Toast owner Richard Caunce added: “Longer hours do not mean more unsocial behaviour and we clearly advertise the importance of leaving our premises in a quiet, sensible and orderly manner – at whatever time our guests choose to vacate the premises.

“We already have a licence to remain open until 4am at weekends and have made an application to the Council to extend the sale of alcohol to 4am.

“We want to be able to offer the venue for hire to the local community too and a flexible licence will allow such.

“We are keen, both at Toast and The Loft, to be an integral part of the local community and have various plans for the future aimed at attracting more and more people – a town we are proud to be part of.

“The business must be sustainable and we have had great support from the local community and we want to ensure the business remain for a long time as it would be a shame to see this lovely building empty once again.”

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that representations have been made by Lancashire Police opposing the additional opening hours due to concerns they could increase crime and disorder.”

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Only one objection to current hours received

Fylde councillors representing St Annes’ Central ward, in which Toast is located, Ed Nash, Sue Fazackerley and Fabian Craig-Wilson, say they have only received one objection to the bar’s current hours.

And Coun Nash confirmed he had written a letter supporting the application.

“Toast has already brought several much needed jobs to St Anne’s - opening later will bring more which is to be welcomed,” he said.

Toast owner Richard Caunce added: “Longer hours do not mean more unsocial behaviour.”

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