The owners of a troubled town centre bar are celebrating after a Licensing Panel declined a police request to shut it down.
Kewz Bar co-owners Hugh Pryce and Thamar Monet faced losing their livelihood if the three-man panel at Huddersfield Town Hall had decided to accept West Yorkshire Police’s case to shut them down.
That was outlined by barrister Beverley Dawes who represented the Force at the panel hearing.
The Queen Street bar has been under intense scrutiny following a string of serious incidents over the last few weeks including the discharge of a firearm into a ceiling and a ‘bottling’ incident.
Licence holder Thamar Monet reacts to the panel hearing
But the panel decided the bar could stay open, with some more conditions added to their licence.
Ms Dawes said: “Between January 1, 2015 and February 21, 2016, there have been a total of 30 offences mainly on Friday and Saturday nights.
“One of the most concerning was on January 31 when a firearm was discharged into a ceiling. This is an extremely serious incident.
“Despite there being a number of door staff on duty that evening a person was able to go out, enter his vehicle and get a firearm .
“That resulted in quite a serious facial injury to a member of the public who was at the bar at the time, 4.30am.
“Overall, the peak time at which offences are taking place is between 3am and 5am.”
However, Mrs Monet presented a powerful case that the bar should be allowed to stay open.
She said she and her husband had run the bar for more than 10 years and done their best to work with police at all times to curb any unruly behaviour.
Since the firearms incident she had introduced a policy which meant there was no re-entry after 3am and admitted: “We made a mistake allowing the gunman to go out and come in again without being checked.”
After hearing several hours of evidence, chairman of the panel, Clr Ken Smith said: “At the end of the day we have decided three things to add to the licensing conditions.
“One, the entrance door will be staffed at all times, secondly, the rear of the premises, within two weeks has to have an automatice shutting facility and thirdly, CCTV to be applied to the pub area to the rear of the premises.”
An emotional Mrs Monet said afterwards: “Naturally we are ecstatic about the result.
“I would like to thank my staff for supporting us today and to regulars for all the wonderful emails they have sent.”