Calls for return of traditional ‘last orders’

Bar owners say that returning to old fashioned opening hours would cut late-night crime
Bar owners say that returning to old fashioned opening hours would cut late-night crime
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Bar managers say it could be time to call ‘last orders’ on Scarborough’s late-night drinking culture, after the latest booze-fuelled act of violence.

However, a long-standing bar owner has warned that scrapping pubs and clubs’ late licenses could ‘bankrupt’ the town.

Bosses from some of Scarborough’s most popular nightspots feel closing venues earlier could actually boost trade by putting an end to the culture of ‘pre-loading’, in which revellers down cut-price supermarket booze at home, before venturing into clubs and bars later on.

And Boleyn’s owner Wayne Morriss feels it would dramatically cut the amount of alcohol-related town centre crime.

“If bars were to close earlier, in the town, you would get rid of about 80 per cent of the trouble,’ said Mr Morriss, who feels the busiest time for police at weekends is in the small hours.

“We need to go back to when bars are open until a certain time, where a pub is a pub and a nightclub is a nightclub.”

His comments come as Scarborough Council looks at piloting a scheme in the new year, in which bars are being invited to close no later than 2am.

Grant Dexter has been at the helm of Blue Lounge for three years, and he said he would happily back the scheme - but only if everybody signed up.

“As a company we’d love to take the hours back, but it would take every bar in Scarborough to come out and support it.

“I think there would probably be less trouble, as it’s safe to say most of it happens later in the night.

“But if we were going to close earlier with another couple of bars staying open, that would hurt our takings.”

However, Quids Inn and Itis-Itis proprietor Alf Arton said similar schemes have failed to take off in other towns, and that Scarborough could struggle if the proposals are adopted.

“This is a seaside town, where we get stags and bikers.

“They want to come here, have a good time and drink late.

“If you get rid of that, it will bankrupt the town and they will just go elsewhere.”