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The irony is that if you run a bar on Collingwood St, and apply sensible business practices, the demand is clearly there.

You wouldn't need to supplement your income with vertical drinking, drug dealing, protection racketeering, running a brothel, running credit card scamming in the cellar, administering funding for Vote Leave, selling 5G contracts to China etc.

You should be to turn a tidy profit without becoming a Geordie Tony Soprano.
 

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The irony is that if you run a bar on Collingwood St, and apply sensible business practices, the demand is clearly there.

You wouldn't need to supplement your income with vertical drinking, drug dealing, protection racketeering, running a brothel, running credit card scamming in the cellar, administering funding for Vote Leave, selling 5G contracts to China etc.

You should be to turn a tidy profit without becoming a Geordie Tony Soprano.
Yes. I ve noticed that they keep Duncan Fisher and his a'hem absence from the business scene for 'three-and-a-half-years, which was reduced on appeal to two years' well away from any public statements....

Chemicals will always be a problem, and I [as many of us probably are] are aware of other establishments with a similar clientele where there are customers who seem to sneeze a lot [though that might be a bit more worrying in the current climate]. However the operators, [many of whom I have no time for] seem to manage to keep something of a lid on things.

It's not just runny noses, a simple search on the chronic' website [that oracle of accurate reporting] with a search criteria of 'collingwood street assault' produces a mere 745 hits, not all of which will be from aforementioned properties but...

Chronicle Live: Number one for news, opinion, sport & celebrity gossip
 

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More: Collingwood Street bars closed forever - with replacement venues at risk

So this is almost funny:
  • Despite the bars having the same owner and operator and on the same site licencing ought not to trouble themselves as they are different. New way to keep your licence...re name your pub. Trebles all round and another reason for the licensing committee to say 'of course you can'.
  • The banks that are giving us money to open a pub might not give us money if we can't open a pub, in a related story a bear found pooing in the woods....
Had you heard of this revamp plan before? First time I've seen it mentioned but I must admit I tuned out of the drug scandal coverage as I thought nothing would really happen and it would be back to BAU in short order.

The suggested names for these new venues are hilariously bad although I don't mind the sound of the VR, darts, karaoke one.
 

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Had you heard of this revamp plan before? First time I've seen it mentioned but I must admit I tuned out of the drug scandal coverage as I thought nothing would really happen and it would be back to BAU in short order.

The suggested names for these new venues are hilariously bad although I don't mind the sound of the VR, darts, karaoke one.
No, first I heard of it beyond a bit of a refurb' was the we're changing the character argument as one of the list of 'defences' to licensing.

Apartment Group is looking to attract an older clientele to the venues with less nightclub space, more seating, more eating and more entertainment
Yeah, sure, of course, with the party hotel opening across the street it's definitely the place I'll be taking mother for lunch.

Apartment group has a specific demographic whether Collingwood st, Nancys, Holy Hobo [former Mr Lynch/Archer]. It's a combo of solvent student and slightly orangey <30 with extensive noise, shrieks of 'eeeeeeeee' and vertical drinking. It's unlikely they'll want to move too far from that formula, especially in the light of the nighttime economy on the street as a whole as far as 55.

Plans included darts, shuffle board lanes, virtual reality pods, a tuck shop bar, pick’n’mix, sherbert drinks, sweetie inspired cocktails, retro video games and street food, with the aim of targeting group bookings, including stag and hen parties, birthdays and corporate events. Other subterranean rooms were also being transformed into a live venue called Howlers, where Mrs Dhugga planned to showcase the best cabaret acts, entertainment and live music.
Suggests the current clientele won't be too disappointed...

As you say the names are hilarious and possibly what you get when your lawyer says well we have to tell them something.

This will be an interesting test for licencing, one I suspect they will fail at. They're happy to pull a licence from any careless corner shop that sells to a questionable 15 year old but with on licences in the core city .... There's the feeling that Glasshouse was past caring [or just stupid] but this one... not so much.

In fairness the Covid jobs case [which is going to be a shortcut paste for any sketchy activity for the next 10 years] is the strongest one, but it's fair to say that they ve been warned...
 

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I would be surprised if they lose this case - the new clean recruit seems to have an understanding of how to play the game. As a former customer of these establishments albeit not the extra-curricular products (which I never saw being sold or anything like that, I'm not that green to not know that drugs were being done but every club has that problem). The plans seem a good change and I wonder if its due to the past history with licensing why they have changed the format of these buildings. If they weren't caught would they have just carried on?
 

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I would be surprised if they lose this case - the new clean recruit seems to have an understanding of how to play the game. As a former customer of these establishments albeit not the extra-curricular products (which I never saw being sold or anything like that, I'm not that green to not know that drugs were being done but every club has that problem). The plans seem a good change and I wonder if its due to the past history with licensing why they have changed the format of these buildings. If they weren't caught would they have just carried on?
I suspect they would, there's always a churn in bars of this type where they need constant refreshment, but given the overall tenor of the street and their usual clientele and business model I d be surprised if they were really targeting a different market, more likely a feint to keep licencing calm [rarely a challenge].
 

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Pumphrey's in Cloth Market, Newcastle to be transformed into two storey Blues Cafe

Chronicle Live website article from 20/06/20

EXTRACT

Newcastle bar Pumphrey's to be transformed into two storey Blues Cafe

Cloth Market bar Pumphreys is undergoing an extensive makeover to become The Blues Cafe which will be open seven nights a week

An investment of £150,000 will be going in to the refurbishment and relaunch of the Blues Cafe, with it expected to open this summer, should pubs and bars in Newcastle and the rest of the country re-open as planned after being forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pumphrey's premises will become an authentic Mississippi blues bar, spread over two floors of one of Newcastle’s most architecturally impressive buildings.


Full article on Newcastle bar Pumphrey's to be transformed into Blues Cafe

KEN
 

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Yes I saw that. I remember going in with mother when I was a kid and it was a real coffee house.

It's either wishful thinking or it's going to require an huge change in clientele. No disrespect to 'em but currently it's a bookies waiting room, 'mature' customers, nursing pints and watching the racing channel. You can have them or you can have a more 'cosmopolitan customer base but you can't have both.

It's hard to completely change the character [clientele] of a pub if the regulars don't like it. Some managed - Earl of Pitt St, others [Six] didn't. You have to start by whacking up prices and dumping the cooking beers, I'd strip out the televisions and the racing channel.

I once chatted to a well known Newcastle pub manager, one who managed 'boozers' to the effect that both that and the beehive were always busy, but he replied [I'll not use the exact words] that the general health and age of the customers did not point to a happy future.
 

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The Beehive

The Grade II Listed Beehive Pub on the road from Earsdon to Old Hartley. House (farm), now public house. Late c18. Changed to pub in 1855. There is a story that during WW1 a flag was raised when the pub had a supply of beer.

Charlie Steel in his book North Shields Pubs Vol 2 mentions that in 1730 two adjoining cottages were built to house the clerk's who managed Lord Delaval's Estate. Known as 'Clarks Houses'

Images courtesy Jack and Geoff Phillips Photographic Collection.

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The Beehive, Balambras, Pumphries, these all seem to be historic pubs that shouldn't need to be 'themed'- motown, blues, whatever, they should be quality historic alehouses in the historic heart of the city. Old George does it well (last time I was there anyway) so there's no reason why others can.

I do get however this is hugely unlikely to happen thanks to an embedded reputation for certain clientele. Again, licensing could sort this out- but also relocating the host of bookies and jobcentre, and phasing out of bars like Kiss, Flares, Bar 24, etc along with one day more residential Graingertown overall, could turn Bigg Market into something that currently only exists in the head of whatever Quango is running regeneration.
 

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Agreed. but the key phrase is licensing sorting it out... looking at the regeneration plans it's as if either they've only looked at pictures and drawings or that the there is a barrier of the scale of the 'inner German border' between the quango and licensing...
 

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On the great pipeline of regeneration for the Bigg Market, Cathedral Square and the rear clump of buildings is the fatberg clogging the pipes to a free flowing positive environment.

I don't want to enter the debate of should we knock down the Cathedral Sq buildings (done enough on here), but it absolutely ruins the character and <cough> potential charm of the place. Ultimately, what's the point of tightening up licensing or pushing out the bookmakers that engage in what islamic folk would call riba, if the place is still going to look like shit? Where's the political gain?

This is why I think the regeneration, as cynical as it seems, is the first step in the right direction, which must end in a comprehensive re-thinking of the Bigg, Groat and Cloth Market area.
Think of the quango as powdering the nose of the Bigg Market area. Great, looks nice, might get some attention and investment- but ultimately, the politicians have to come in and wipe it's arse.

Actions only happen because of a reaction, and very much so for politics. If the head of licensing and the politicians/councillors/civil servants see a success and a well fluffed up face, they will be more likely to knuckle down, enforce and wipe clean any lingering you know what.

I know lots of us have spoken for year about what should/ what wont work etc. But I just like to find new and expressive ways (apologies for the profanities) to articulate, to try and understand the best process to make the Bigg Market into what it could be, and not the remnants of the once ubiquitous slum living of inner city Newcastle that it actually is.
 

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As ever agree, it will take a critical mass of changes which will require [probably] a conscious/active decision. The few nicer bars might just tip it over but my experience is that Gresham's law applies in lots of contexts, bad bars drive out good ones. The risk, a real one is that rather than the nice 'uns fluffed up thriving they fail because of the nasty 'uns* scaring the punters away.

The current climate does give a real opportunity for a tidy up - space, less vertical drinking and so on and that model is a much better fit for 'the Earl of Pitt St' than the Beehive. It would be easy to introduce and enforce and unlike many other parts of the city there is a relatively car free platz with lots of space for non infectious tables and chair drinking with nice high margin.

The risk is that the opportunity is missed and we 'the committee that likes to say 'the answer is yes, what's the question' cheering at pop world selling trebles and alchopops out of a hatch for 99p a bottle [and the punters sitting in an infectious Cheltenham races like petri dish]. It's where you need the quango and licencing working together

We might know more tomorrow - Ireland has a food and sit requirement to open at the end of the month, drink only close to a month later. That could transform the place.....

*Nice and nasty are subjective, just my shorthand. Bridge Tavern = Nice, Popworld... not so much...
 

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They were definitely playing hardball with a row of 'expert' witnesses, of course emphasising the quality of their procedures but gently skating over implementation. My money is still on a kick into the long grass, try not to do it again..

Updates:
  • Entertainment resumes tomorrow
  • Police also playing hardball.
    chief inspector Steve Wykes told the hearing that the culture of the clubs will stay the same “whatever colour you paint the walls, whatever name you put on the front”........‘“It is apparent to me that something is going horribly, horribly wrong here and continues to go wrong in terms of staff perception that this is a premises you attend in order to take drugs.”
 

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Had you heard of this revamp plan before? First time I've seen it mentioned but I must admit I tuned out of the drug scandal coverage as I thought nothing would really happen and it would be back to BAU in short order.

The suggested names for these new venues are hilariously bad although I don't mind the sound of the VR, darts, karaoke one.
The refurb has been in the pipeline for at least 5 years. In the few years I worked there it was constantly talked about but kept getting pushed back every 6 months until they eventually started making small changes to rooms/knocking walls down last year but I think the court case is slowing it down as the full refurb was so supposed be completed by last December then it changed to end of January, then March. Now they've stripped the venues out completely during lockdown ready for the final decision.
 
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