A toyshop-themed bar is planning to open in Brighton in the former Jamie’s Italian restaurant in The Lanes.
The Toy Shop Bar has applied for a licence to sell alcohol, stage live performances and play music until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, until 2am on Thursdays and Sunday, and midnight on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
In its application, the applicant says the unit’s neighbours in Black Lion Street are all restaurants, pubs and offices except one block of flats 30 metres down on the other side of the road.
the applicant is listed as Nembali Ltd, which is not registered with Companies House. However, another company whose name is an anagram of Nemabli, Libamen Ltd, has a licence to run a Toy Shop Bar in Putney, London.
In that bar, drinks are served in Lego-style cups or dolls house-shaped jugs, and customers can nestle in Wendy Houses or drink around table tennis tables.
Drinks offers are spelled out using children’s magnetic letters, and the cocktail menu is designed as a board game.
Libamen director Jamie Roberts said their plans are at an early stage, but gave Brighton and Hove News an information pack which said: “At the Toy Shop, we invite our guests to leave their troubles at the door and enter a joyful, nostalgic, colourful bubble of fun.”
However, Nembali – or Libamen – face an uphill struggle in getting a licence as Black Lion Street is within the city’s cumulative impact zone, in which new venues have to demonstrate they would not cause alcohol-related harm.
The presumption is that a nightclub application like this would automatically be refused.
Meanwhile, two more new city centre eateries – a restaurant and a bubble tea cafe – have applied for planning permission for new frontages, and a pub wants to change name.
A husband and wife team who previously managed much-loved vegetarian restaurant Food for Friends is opening a new restaurant, Kindling, with a focus on plant based and minimal waste food – but including sustainable meat and fish.
Ramin and Jane Mostowfi want to open the cafe in East Street in the unit formerly occupied by Edendum.
The bubble tea chain T4, which has branches all over the UK from Glasgow to Bournemouth, plans to open in the former Shuropody unit at the bottom of Queens Road.
And The Office, which recently changed management after Enterprise Inns took back the lease from Pleisure, is returning to its former name the Green Dragon, which it originally opened as in the 1840s.
It was still known as the Green Dragon in 1994 when charity worker Thomas Connor, 33, was murdered in the toilets there by David Soar, also known as Mad Dog, who stamped on his head repeatedly then robbed him of £20. It was renamed The Office soon after.
The pub will now be run by the Bermondsey Pub Company, a business unit of Enterprise. It is currently closed for a revamp and is due to reopen next month.