Central Leeds: Beer bar to pop up in heart of ‘crime hot spot’

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A ‘pop up’ beer bar was granted a permit to sell alcohol in the city centre despite objections from the police.

Brooklyn Brewery Pop Up will bring a slice of the Big Apple to a warehouse on The Calls in Leeds - despite objections from West Yorkshire Police and the City Council’s environmental action service.

Both were concerned the temporary bar would add to anti-social issues such as alcohol-fuelled violence and noise pollution in an already crime-ridden hotspot.

But Broomhouse Investments managed yesterday (June 17) to persuade a licensing sub-committee their venture was for the well-behaved and “discerning” drinker, prepared to spend £7 or more on a pint of speciality beer.

Applicant Mike Watson told members that alcopops and spirits would not be sold, just beer and soft drinks. And that the venture was less about high quantity sales, and more about promotion of the brand.

But PC Cath Arkle warned members: “People with money still have the ability of causing trouble when inebriated.”

Asked what the primary point of Brooklyn Brewery Pop Up - that was described as an arts and cultural space - would be, Mr Watson said: “Beer.”

But he added that it was just as important to bring a slice of Brooklyn to Yorkshire, in the shape of artwork, lighting, film and music “played at a low level to allow for conversation”.

Mr Watson said the venture was not about profit, and would probably operate at a loss. Pushed on the definition of ‘temporary’ by Coun Graham Hyde (Lab, Killingbeck and Seacroft) in terms of the licence being sought, Mr Watson said it was difficult to quantify in time. He said they planned to buy a brew run, and would close once it had sold out - probably after three months.

The licensing sub committee granted a seven month licence to Broomhouse Investments to sell alcohol until midnight from Wednesday to Sunday, permitting they closed by 12.30am and limited the capacity to 150.

Conditions included employing two doormen, joining the business against crime in Leeds (BACIL) scheme, putting in place a dispersal policy and installing CCTV. Brooklyn Brewery Pop Up will employ 14 bar staff two bar managers and two door staff.