Northern Lights thanks supporters after licence victory

Posted On 04 Mar 2015 at 3:01 pm

The manager of Northern Lights has thanked supporters for helping to convince councillors to keep its licence.

Northern Lights pubThe Brighton bar in Little East Street was up before Brighton and Hove City Council’s licensing committee this week for a review of its licence.

Police requested the review because, they said, it was not sticking to its licensing requirements to be a food-led venue, and instead allowing “vertical drinking” – drinking without food while standing.

It asked for its hours to be restricted, and suggested a possible licence suspension.

In the days before the hearing, more than 7,000 people signed a petition urging the council to review the police evidence.

And yesterday, the three-strong licensing panel instead made a series of minor changes, allowing the bar to carry operating much as it is now.

Landlady Pauliina Talvensaari said: “Our opening hours haven’t changed, but we’ll no longer be able to serve alcohol past 1am, which we are happy to adhere to, plus more seating will be provided.

“We’re going to be using this new license agreement as an opportunity to instigate a few of the changes that we’ve been discussing recently, and to hopefully change Northern Lights for the better.

“Essentially, we wanted to reach an agreement that wouldn’t put a tight squeeze on us in an already difficult climate, rather than prove any point against the authorities, we understood and were happy for there to be some concessions on both sides.

“Going forwards, we’re hoping to build a good relationship with the licensing authorities once again, but until we sit and have our staff meeting in the next day or so to talk about particulars, we’re just happy that we’re here.

“I think it’s very much a Finnish thing to prepare yourself for the worst! Thanks to you and your followers for the support.”

Liam Hardy, who launched the petition, said: “The three councillors on the panel included Amy Kennedy, Ania Kitcat (both Green Party) and Mo Marsh (Labour.)

“A few changes will be made, with opening hours remaining as they are, but with no sales of alcohol to be made after 1am, and improvements made towards the seating and signage in the venue.

“Northern Lights said a huge, huge thank you to everybody who came out, made them feel supported and made them feel less anxious.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the force would not be commenting until it had studied the written documentation from the licensing committee for the reasons given for the decision.

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