City hands murder bid bar licence reprieve

Garibaldi's in Hanover Street
Garibaldi's in Hanover Street
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A LATE-NIGHT bar which lost its licence after an alleged attempted murder on the premises has been given a reprieve by councillors, despite concerns from police.

Garibaldi’s was shut down and had its licence revoked for one month in March following the alleged incident on Boxing Day last year.

The incident followed a spate of assaults, disturbances and thefts at the Hanover Street venue in recent years.

After the venue, whose manager also lost their personal licence, re-opened in April its hours were restricted to 1am.

Yesterday, at the city’s licensing board hearings, councillors were told the new managers had cracked down on drunkenness and antisocial behaviour but that the earlier licence had left the business unviable.

They approved a three-month trial allowing the bar to stay open until 3am, despite some concerns from police.

Giving evidence to the board, licensing department Inspector Gordon Hunter said the previous landlord had “consistent disregard for the prevention of public nuisance and the securing public safety”.

He added: “The majority of these incidents did relate to disorder, however, there were issues with drunkenness and the lack of control.”

He recommended against a renewal.

Lawyer Stephen McGowan, representing Garibaldi’s, said the new managers were aware of trouble in the past and had turned the bar around.

He said: “Drunken customers are simply no longer allowed in at all. Staff are far more responsible, far more aware of what can happen.

“The antisocial behaviour report confirms there hasn’t been any since the new operators took over, and they did operate during the Festival until 3am and there wasn’t a single issue.”

The bar, which was once notorious for serving only double measures of spirits, has been involved in several incidents in recent years.

In August a 27-year-old woman admitted spitting at and kicking a bouncer in October last year, while in April a man suffered a broken tooth after being attacked by a group outside Garibaldi’s.

In March 2007 the son of High Court judge Lord Menzies had his nose broken and teeth damaged after being headbutted by a doorman.

Councillor Norman Work said: “If I can recall, it was bad management [from the previous operators] and I’d be in favour of a trial if it is totally new people involved.

“The previous management had no idea what they were doing. However, I would advise that the new management are aware of the past history.”

Board convenor Councillor Marjorie Thomas added: “In view of the history a lot will depend on how this trial goes.

“I can appreciate its new management. It’s very much up to you to make this work.”