Brighton night club granted new premises licence for £1m move

A Brighton night club and music venue has been granted a licence for nearby new premises as it prepares to spend £1 million on the move.

The Haunt is to vacate its current Pool Valley home to make way for the expansion of the neighbouring Grosvenor Casino, which has its entrance in Grand Junction Road, on the seafront.

The club is due to move into the old Days restaurant – formerly the ABC cinema – in East Street.

The casino, the Haunt and the Days premises are all in a building complex known as the Savoy Centre.

The Haunt had been due to move into another part of the same complex – formerly Dirty Blonde – which is now back on the market as a restaurant.

The plan to move into the Days site meant that the Haunt’s owner Matthew Dimmock had to apply to Brighton and Hove City Council for a new premises licence.

A council licensing panel has decided to grant a licence despite Sussex Police raising concerns about the proposed late closing time in an area “saturated” with licensed premises.

The Haunt, which will have its main door in Pool Valley, will be able to open at 11am and close at 4am. It can sell alcoholic drinks until 3.30am.

A bar in East Street, which is part of Mr Dimmock’s business, will be licensed from noon until 11pm, with no spirits on sale.

The idea is that it should operate as a café during the day and as a pre-event venue in the evening.

It must make light food and snacks available at all times and the bar’s capacity would be limited to the number of seats in the café.

The licensing panel said that there should be no access to the Haunt from the bar and it has to be cleared of customers by 11pm.

The bar is not licensed for plays, films, live music or performance of dance although the Haunt itself is somewhere that hosts bands and musicians.

Mr Dimmock told the licensing panel, which sat at Hove Town Hall on Monday 3 June, that the Haunt would be suitable for acts seeking a mid-size venue as well as for the up-and-coming. The space would be adaptable, he said, with retractable tiered seating for theatre.

Neighbours in Clarendon Mansions were worried about another pub with late hours in East Street, with their concerns including noise such as empty bottles being put out for collection.

As a result, rubbish collections will be limited to between 8am and 9pm, with collections from Pool Valley rather than Brills Lane, next to the flats.

The panel – consisting of Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn, Green councillor Lizzie Deane and Conservative councillor Lee Wares – said that, before the Haunt can open in its new venue, Mr Dimmock would have to give up his existing licences. They apply to the current site and the old Dirty Blonde premises.

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