THE couple behind a popular bar on one of Blackpool’s busiest streets have walked out after claiming they were “naive” about how difficult it would be.
Police announced this week they were taking Queen Street bar The Edge to a licensing review – and Ian and Kelly Calvert immediately handed back their licences and walked away.
The couple left on Tuesday after the police asked for a review, claiming there have been repeated incidents where fights have broken out, door staff have assaulted customers and people in the bar have been excessively drunk.
And while Mr Calvert admits there have been “one or two more incidents” than they would have liked, he said both he and Mrs Calvert were trying to make a success of the venue.
He said: “It was a bit of a shock to the system that street.
“We did find it difficult. We learned and we tried to sort it out but with the long hours and everything else it was inevitable.
“We have to hold our hands up. We had a good year but with a busy place you will always get trouble no matter how you try and control it.
“I think we were very naive.”
The bar was open from 11am until 5am seven days a week, giving it some of the longest opening hours in the town.
And now the Calverts are planning to turn their attentions to Poulton – where they used to own The Edge on Hardhorn Road – and plan to open a new bar on Breck Road in the next month.
Mr Calvert, who also ran the now closed Edge in Kirkham, added: “We are planning to open a bar in Poulton. We were going to run the two, but you can’t concentrate on two.
“You have to be ready for Queen Street, you have to be a certain type of licensee.”
Sgt Caroline Hannon, licensing sergeant at Blackpool Police, claimed in papers lodged with Blackpool Council that over the last year there have been repeated problems with The Edge.
She said despite warnings issued to Mrs Calvert during 2012 asking for improvements to be made, when police made a licensing visit in November there was no personal licence holder behind the bar, empty drug snap bags were found in the toilets and an incident record book produced for them had not been updated since April.
In a statement Sgt Hannon said: “The issues of concern are issues with drugs at the premises, issues with CCTV not working and lack of contact with regard to CCTV not being in operation, issues with door staff assaulting customers, no records kept for incidents, proof of age or drugs searches and levels of intoxication with customers.”
A date for the review at Blackpool Council has not yet been set.
The bar was closed yesterday but is expected to be open this weekend.