Leeds pub plans to start serving at 9am: Here are the arguments for and against

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A proposed new Wetherspoons pub, in Cross Gates, wants to start serving alcohol from 9am.

The site still needs a licence from Leeds City Council to serve alcohol. Here, we hear two differing views on the issue.

Wetherspoons wants to serve booze from 9am every day at new pub in Leeds suburb


Peter Gruen, a Labour councillor for Cross Gates and Whinmoor, is a fan of the proposals.

He also believes that being able to serve alcohol from so early would not present the problems that people would assume.

He said: “My view is that there will be a very useful and positive development for Cross Gates.

“Wetherspoons are very well-run establishments and I am hoping that the plans do indeed go through.

“I hope that it works out well and that they will be good neighbours for local businesses and residents.

“I know that the early serving of alcohol is usually reserved for pubs near city centres.

“In terms of the Cross Gates development, I am not anticipating an influx of people wanting to drink at 9am purely because they are allowed.”

Coun Gruen believes that contrary to popular belief, the fact that a pub can sell alcohol from such an early time does not necessarily mean people will do that.

He says lots of people simply go early to take advantage of various breakfast deals at Wetherspoons.

“When you go to Wetherspoons early, you in fact find that people are just going for breakfasts,” he said.

“I’m sure everyone wants this to work successfully because it is bringing a disused building back into use.”


Annabel Smith, based in Horbury, has worked in the beer industry for the best part of three decades.

The Beer Sommelier, writer and beer trainer recently won a Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group in London.

She says it can be challenging to sometimes track how much people drink and that a 9am serving start time could pose potential problems.

She said: “My opinion is that people can purchase alcohol 24 hours a day in the off-trade, but where the consumer drinks that alcohol, and how much, is challenging to monitor and regulate.”

She says she would have no problem with the decision to serve alcohol from 9am, but only as long as the pubs ensure that no anti-social behaviour unfolds as a result.

She added: “I am certain all the J D Wetherspoon pubs in Leeds currently are able to serve alcohol from breakfast time and have done for a number of years.

“Pubs have extremely strict licensing laws which aim to combat anti-social behaviour of any kind.

“This can include actions such as refusing to serve any individual who appears to be intoxicated.

“Personally, I see no issue with serving alcohol from 9am in a bar as long as the same strict licensing regulations are adhered to.”