Pub defends late night opening plans

A landlady has defended a plan to open her Mirfield pub until 3.30am on Fridays.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 13th January 2014, 10:36 am
OPENING HOURS The Thirsty Man wants to stay open until 3.30am on Fridays.
OPENING HOURS The Thirsty Man wants to stay open until 3.30am on Fridays.

Lyn Smyth, who has run the Thirsty Man with husband Gerry for the last 15 months, said the move was “purely a business proposition.”

In May last year, around 40 revellers smashed their glasses on a Friday night and continued to cause trouble outside after they were thrown out. A brawl also erupted on a Friday night in October, with around 10 people involved.

But Mrs Smyth insisted the pub was winning the battle against unruly boozers. She said: “It’s been absolutely fine since then. If any pub tells you they never have any fighting they are telling lies – some people are always going to fall out.”

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The pub, in Old Bank Road, is now asking Kirklees Council’s licensing panel for permission to extend its Friday night opening hours from 1am to 3.30am. The Wilsons Arms in Huddersfield Road already opens later than the Thirsty Man.

Mr and Mrs Smyth also want to open at 9am to serve breakfasts.

Mrs Smyth said: “It’s purely a business proposition to keep customers who we have to kick out at 1.15am, who then go down to Wilsons.

“If we have any problems we will go back to the same opening hours. If we have a quiet night we shut early.

“We have worked hard to try to lift the respectability the pub had before we came here. The rest of the week it is a family pub but on Friday we offer the chance for the younger ones to let their hair down a bit.”

The plans provoked a strong debate on our Facebook page.

Jill Shillito said: “It’s in a residential area, what about the poor souls who live nearby. Don’t think it should happen.”

Graham Sheard said: “Pubs are open too long now. Old Bank Road is littered with glass and puke from there now – God knows what it would be like with longer opening hours.”

But Kayleigh-Jane Cuthbert disagreed. She said: “I live two doors away and have a three-month-old baby. Doesn’t affect me. I never had people shouting or heard it at all, so people should stop whinging. People have to make their living one way or another.”

West Yorkshire Police has not objected to the application but one letter of objection has been received by the council.

The agent for the Marstons-owned pub has said CCTV will cover licensable areas and door supervisors will be employed.

The Licensing Panel will meet on Monday at 10.45am at Dewsbury Town Hall to decide on the application.