THIRTY SIX: Birkenhead bar takes over derelict site
A bar in Birkenhead will serve drinks outdoors until 2am after using the lockdown to good effect.
While the pandemic has been a hugely difficult time for pubs and bars across the country, Thirty Six, on Conway Street in the town, has used it to build a beer garden on land next to the bar which was derelict.
David Doyle, who owns Thirty Six, said: “We have taken a piece of derelict land and made it into something for the town.
“We’ve created a dining area also and we’re hopefully going to apply for a pavement licence to get more tables outside.”
Prior to the pandemic, the bar held a licence allowing it to open until 4.30am indoors between Monday and Thursday, and until 5.30am on Saturday and Sunday.
But it did not have the outdoor space it has since developed.
Last September, Mr Doyle applied to Wirral Council for a licence to open the new outdoor area until 4.30am, but the authority rejected this, meaning the outdoor area could not be open any later than 11.30pm.
However, the bar owner was successful in a later application seeking to serve alcohol outdoors until 2am.
Despite the late licence, Mr Doyle was insistent that the premises would operate as a bar rather than a nightclub.
He added: “It won’t become a nightclub, it will be more of a bar. We don’t charge to get in and we don’t have big name DJs.”
Mr Doyle said the bar has started opening at lunchtimes to try and get away from a “late night disco image” and while it is allowed to remain open beyond 1am, Thirty Six is closing around that time currently due to “difficulties” in maintaining social distancing beyond then.
The bar owner said clear steps had been taken to prevent the late opening of the outdoor area becoming a nuisance to local residents.
He added: “We have three outdoor speakers which cost £1,000 each with limiters. You could stand on Conway Street and you wouldn’t hear it.
“We’ve also got cameras on the ground floor and the [directional] speakers. We have spent a lot on the venue to make sure we don’t have any incidents.”
Despite the bar’s expansion, Mr Doyle admitted the lockdown had been tough, but he was looking towards the future.
Mr Doyle said: “We’ve been working on it [the outdoor area] for over a year, while we’ve been in lockdown.
“It [the lockdown] has been hard but we’re fortunate to still be open. I feel for the businesses that aren’t so lucky.”
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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