Cleveleys Sports Bar temporarily banned from serving booze after opening without licence

A new sports bar in Cleveleys has been temporarily banned from serving alcohol until it is granted a license by councillors.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 4:22 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd September 2021, 4:58 pm
RJ's Bar owners John Sherwood and Rob Hopkinson with manager Sarah-Jayne Coop. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

RJ’s Bar, which opened in the old Pizza Hut on the Prom in Cleveleys, was visited by officials the day after opening without a proper licence on Wednesday – and told to stop selling beer.

The venue now faces a wait to see if councillors agree to grant permission later this month – after owners John Sherwood and Rob Hopkinsons' bid was hit by objections.

Wyre Council said "a number of objections" had been lodged amid concerns about noise.

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Manager Sarah-Jayne Coop said the atmosphere was “buzzing” when the bar first opened the day before a consultation period on its licence bid ended.

Had no objections been received, a licence could have been granted the next day but now the issue must be discussed at a meeting.

The venue can still serve soft drinks and food, but booze is off the menu for the time-being.

“We knew there had been two objections but one was withdrawn,” Sarah-Jayne said.

“We hadn’t heard anything more about the complaint from the council before we opened so we assumed they’d sorted it. I am applying for a temporary events licence and in the meantime we can still serve food and soft drinks.

“We have put absolutely everything into opening this business and have families to support.”

Sarah-Jayne added: “Maybe I did open up wrongly on Wednesday but you’d have thought that, by September 1 when we hadn’t heard anything, the council would have contacted us as a matter of urgency telling us not to open.

“We’ve worked with the licensing police and environmental health and they were fine with the licensing terms, which we changed in order to clear up the complaints.

“The licensing police even came past when we opened and didn’t shut us down – and when they came in on Thursday they knew we were open. We've since been told by licensing police that customers can bring their own alcohol into the building with them, and as long as they can prove it wasn't purchased on-site they can drink it here.”

A council spokesman said: “We have received a number of objections to the granting of a license and as a result the matter is due to go to the licensing committee on Monday, September 27.”