Torquay's Mambo nightspot can keep unique bar
ONE of the Bay's busiest nightspots has successfully challenged stringent licensing conditions which they claim are ruining their business.
Mambo's on Torquay harbourside launched an appeal at a day-long court hearing against three of 30 licence conditions.
The hearing at Newton Abbot magistrates heard that despite crime dropping at the nightspot, it was still the number-one trouble premises in South Devon.
The 30 conditions were imposed last June after a three-week booze ban on the busy nightspot on the eve of the jubilee weekend over safety concerns. The fast-track extradited review on the premises licence was brought last year by police after two serious glassings within a week of each other in May.
Now the firm has made improvements to the running of the premises and crime has dropped.
Torbay Council, which challenged the appeal by venue owners Lifestyle Enterprises Ltd, has been accused of meddling. David Campbell, barrister acting on behalf of the firm, said: "Is it appropriate for Torbay Council to micro-manage a premises?"
Magistrates deliberated for more than an hour before allowing the venue to retain its centrepiece U-shaped bar — which police say is a pinch point for trouble.
The court also allowed the club to reduce the number of door staff, if necessary, on quieter nights when some floors are closed.
But the hearing did not allow the outdoor balcony to be used for drinking after midnight during weeknights.
The court was told Mambo no longer promotes cheap drinks, has changed door staff operators, has a new manager and uses clickers to control numbers.
James Eyre, managing director at Lifestyle Enterprises, told the court that replacing the bar was disproportionate given the improvements that have taken place. And he argued that £40,000 was unviable for a loss-making business that has already had to find £250,000 to fight the extradited review in June last year.