New cocktail bar at Gunwharf Quays ditches live music licence bid after Portsmouth residents complain

PEOPLE protesting about plans for late-night live music have convinced operators of a new bar and restaurant to scrap a licence bid.

By Ben Fishwick
Saturday, 18th May 2019, 12:03 pm
File photo of Gunwharf Quays where The Alchemist hopes to replace Strada restaurant
File photo of Gunwharf Quays where The Alchemist hopes to replace Strada restaurant

Bosses behind The Alchemist, which is set to take the place of the Strada restaurant at Gunwharf Quays, will still play music up to midnight on Monday to Wednesday, and up to 1am the rest of the week.

If the venue opens as planned it will join the ranks of 16 existing bars of the same name dotted across Britain.

Existing restaurants belonging to the chain boast an all-day menu but also serve elaborate cocktails, including Caramalised Rum Punch, Dead Red Zombie and Banoffee Manhattan.

The Alchemist’s premises licence application attracted complaints – with many people also objecting to Cosy Club’s bid for a licence as it was submitted at the same time.

As a result the agent for The Alchemist withdrew the bid on November 9 but then earlier this year met with residents and submitted a new application. Cosy Club won its licence.

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Now a licensing committee meeting at Portsmouth City Council is set to make a decision. Papers show 40 people submitted views on the bid - with just one in support.

Council papers said: ‘A meeting was held with residents, which resulted in a revised application being submitted reducing the trading hours and removing live music from the application which was a concern highlighted at the meeting.’

They added: ‘Relevant representations have been received from 40 local residents (one in support). These relate to public nuisance/noise.

‘Many make reference regarding an existing venue that has operated in this area for a number of years and the noise these premises has generated.’

If granted the premises licence would allow the sale of alcohol from 9am to midnight from Sunday to Wednesday, and 9am to 1am from Thursday to Saturday.

Recorded music and film screenings would be possible during the same time periods.

The venue would open at 9am to 12.30am from Sunday to Wednesday, and from 9am to 1.30am from Thursday to Saturday.

A decision will be made on May 28 at the Licensing Sub-committee at 10am.