Bar wins battle over late licence

Java, Clifton Square Lytham
Java, Clifton Square Lytham
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A LYTHAM bar has survived a bid to revoke its late night licence after the owner admitted lessons had been learnt from earlier mistakes.

Lancashire Police wanted to force wine bar Java to close at midnight – instead of 1am – in a bid to stop a “problem” with violent crime and incidents.

Police figures show in the last two and a half years there have been more incidents of violent crime at the popular wine bar than any of its neighbouring establishments.

But at yesterday’s Fylde Council licence review owner Helen Vavoso argued forcefully many of those incidents had taken place outside and were unrelated to the bar.

Sgt Sarah Salisbury, who called for the review, said: “My experience is unfortunately there’s a problem at Java that is down to the way it’s being managed, particularly during the last hour of trading.”

The licensing panel heard there had been reports of an assault in the bar, undesirable customers being allowed in and on one occasion the police had found 87 customers in the bar – more than the 60 capacity-limit.

And Insp Kevin Ogle, Fylde’s geographic inspector, said on last year’s Lytham Club Day some of the behaviour from customers in the bar’s outdoor area was “shocking and unsavoury.”

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But the council decided forcing the bar to close early was not the right move, although the premises is now banned from allowing anyone to enter or re-enter the Clifton Square premises after midnight.

Java’s solicitor, David Pickup, said it was “unusual” the police had been forced to go back to 2009 to find the 22 incidents of crime they relied on for the case and added some of those incidents were clearly not linked to Java.

And licensee Helen Vavoso, who has run the premises with her husband since 2009, said: “There have been some mistakes definitely that we’ve made.

“We’ve learnt a lot of lessons, it’s taken us time to understand our clientele.

“In the last six months Java is becoming established, it’s a lovely place to be.”