A seafront venue has been granted a new licence to sell alcohol but the owner and operator were warned that it should not become a bar.
The Brighton Zip was granted a licence with “café conditions”, meaning that it could sell alcoholic drink without food from the bar at Dalton’s Bastion, in Madeira Drive.
But “substantial” food must be available at all times at the venue which must be “ancillary” to the seafront zipwire.
The previous licence had “restaurant conditions”, requiring anyone buying a drink to order “substantial” food too.
The premises licence lapsed when the current owner Madeira Leisure took over the business after the former owner Happyvale went into voluntary liquidation.
At a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel hearing, the business’s owner Jeff Sanders said that, although food and drink were ancillary, the zipwire wouldn’t be financially viable without them.
And he said, the business had already suffered significantly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
Mr Sanders originally sought to be allowed to serve drink until 11pm – later than council policy would usually allow for cafés – but at the hearing he said that 10pm would be ok.
Both Sussex Police and the council’s licensing department opposed the application because of the high level of alcohol-related crime in the area.
Madeira Leisure’s solicitor Niall McCann said that the Brighton Zip was allowed to sell alcohol over three weekends in October and November under “café conditions”.
Before agreement was reached about the temporary arrangement, Mr McCann had said that it would give the venue a chance to show that it would not add to the area’s problems.
And, he said subsequently, there had been no problems linked to the Brighton Zip.
The licensing panel said in a decision letter: “It recognises the unique nature of the zipwire but has reservations that the premises seem more closely aligned to a bar than a traditional café.
“The food and beverage offer are more typical of a bar and the name ‘bar’ does nothing to allay that concern.
“On the other hand, we have noted that the terminal hour for ‘on-sales’ has been brought back to 10pm to be consistent with (council policy).
“Sale of alcohol by waiter/waitress service, a 10pm closing hour, no ‘off-sales’ and a condition making licensable (activity) ancillary to the main function of the complex are all welcome measures.
“We trust that our reservations about the premises being a bar and not a café will be proved groundless.”
Under the terms of its new licence, the Brighton Zip is barred from selling shots or cocktails although spirits with mixers, such as gin and tonic, are permitted.