Doncaster town centre pubs fear they could have to close at 10pm after re-opening next month
Pub bosses in Doncaster town centre fear they could have to close at 10pm when they are finally allowed to re-open next month.
Licencees and Doncaster’s ward councillor for the town centre area say they understand police have been pushing for pavement licences to end at 10pm because of concerns over policing the outside areas.
Many bars have only the pavements areas as outside space and have raised their concerns on their Facebook pages
Police and Doncaster Council have been approached for comment. It is understood that talks are ongoing on the issue.
But Doncaster central ward councillor Dave Shaw confirmed that his understanding was that police had indicated they wanted to take tables and chairs off the pavements at 10pm, and said he would be concerned if this happened in Doncaster, but not in other areas.
He said there were a lot of pubs that did not have beer gardens and only had the pavement area.
Many town centre pubs have spent thousands of pounds in getting into a position which will allow them to open in April, investing in outdoor furniture.
Coun Shaw said: “I would like to know what it is about Doncaster that it had a curfew enforced that was not happening in other towns in South Yorkshire.
"We in the Labour group all want to ensure businesses are able to open safely and viably so that bar owners can have the opportunity to start earning incomes and wages once again, and we want to see the same for Doncaster as other towns."
He said there was concern that if pubs were having to close outdoor areas at 10pm, even after customers are allowed inside, possibly in May, it may force people indoors after 10pm. He felt that was potentially against health advice that it was safer to be outside than inside in terms of coronavirus infections.
Chris Coughlan, owner of O'Donegans, on Hall Gate, said he had spent £25,000 getting his venue to a position when he will be able to open on April 12.
He warned having to close at 10pm would close his business.
He said: “I don’t get busy until 10pm. People seem to start at the wool market and then end up with us later.”