Southsea businesses welcome potential arrival of new bar ‘to encourage more people to come out’

Dukes of Southsea, in Marmion Road
Dukes of Southsea, in Marmion Road
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PLANS for a new cafe-bar in Marmion Road have been welcomed by neighbouring businesses who hope to see the area become as popular as other Southsea hot-spots.

Next week councillors will consider an application for a new late-night venue submitted by Blind Pig Bars Ltd.

If approved the bar would replace interior design shop Dukes of Southsea and would open and serve alcohol until midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11.30pm on Sunday and 11pm on all other nights.

In the application a spokesman for Blind Pig Bars Ltd described the purpose of the licence. He said: 'To create a cafe-bar and private event space offering premium hot drinks and luxury soft and alcoholic drinks within a high-end, laid-back environment lending itself to a good socialising setting with a less crowded feel.

'A perfect space for a baby shower, baby gender reveal, art exhibition or intimate family birthday party.

'There is no intention of offering food other than basic bar snacks, meaning no requirement for the installation of a mechanical extract system.'

Barmaid at the pub next door The Marmion, Holly Roux, was hopeful a new venue would encourage more visitors to Marmion Road. She said : 'We would absolutely welcome it. Marmion Road needs to have more and more bars in it to connect the gap up to Albert Road.

'I have heard people talking about a bar opening next door, it seems to be a popular application.

'There's a tapas bar opening across the road and now with Bangerz'n'Brewz on the corner it should encourage more people to come out.'

James Stone, co-owner of restaurant Bangerz'n'Brewz in Victoria Road South said: 'I think it would be fantastic. I've also seen that there are another three or four restaurant applications that have gone in down the street.

'Originally in Marmion Road it was just Brassierie Lou Lou's in terms of restaurants. I think it would be really good to have another venue.

'People might want to go between Albert Road to Palmerston which would normally seem a bit far but if Marmion Road could create a bit of a pathway with bars and restaurants that would be great.'

However one representation has been made against the application. Michael Thorne, Portsmouth City Council's environmental protection officer, said: 'I have significant concerns about the potential impact on the adjacent residential use.

'The application represents both an increase in opening hours for the ground floor use (currently a shop, Dukes of Southsea), opening hours at more sensitive times (in the evening and night‐time hours) and a more significant impact compared to the present use. A cafe‐bar use has the potential to impact on the amenity of neighbouring uses through noise from entertainment and customer noise, both indoors and out.'

Dukes of Southsea closed in December. 

The council's licensing committee will decide the application on Monday, April 8.