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City club owner granted new premises licence for Prince of Wales Road bar

PUBLISHED: 21:56 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:46 28 November 2019

Karishma bar on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Karishma bar on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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A city bar which avoided closure after a licence review sparked by complaints over noise, drug use and fighting has been granted a licence to continue trading.

The new owner of Karishma, a bar and club on Prince of Wales Road, was forced to apply to the city council for a fresh premises licence after the collapse of the firm previously responsible for its operating.

READ MORE: City nightclub owner vows to take council advice on board after being spared closure

But ahead of a licensing sub-committee hearing at City Hall, Norfolk Police withdrew their objections to the application and agreed to grant owner Lisa Heritage, from Norfolk Entertainment Ltd, a new licence, after concerns over the opening hours were resolved.

Previous owner, Mo Ali, the venue's designated premises supervisor, said an extension of the alcohol sales licence had been requested until 4am, as opposed to the 3.45am terms of the previous licence.

But he said this was an error and added: "We have agreed the terms and we have got the licence.

READ MORE: Bollywood bar manager puts police concerns down to bad luck and vows to improve

"When we made the application, we didn't understand the question properly. We should have put down 3.45am last serving of drinks."

He said the premises also already had full CCTV throughout and added: "They just wanted more detail about where it was."

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In a response to the licensing committee, Michelle Bartram, licensing office with Norfolk Police, had said: "The time requested for alcohol sales and for closing are both 0400 hours which does not incorporate any drinking up period for patrons, which is not advisable meaning patrons will be downing drinks before leaving."

And she described the venue as "one of concern to police".

READ MORE: Heavy drinking, fights and white powder - What police saw at city club facing licence review

Since the licence review in April, police recorded four noise issues; an assault which left a man bleeding from the nose following a disturbance; staff appearing "unconcerned" by patrons seemingly under the influence of drugs; fake IDs seized by security; and an assault which saw a victim "punched in the face" and left with "a cut lip and bleeding".

But following the hearing, Mrs Bartram confirmed they had resolved the issues regarding the licence with the applicant and new terms had been agreed.

Mr Ali said the new owners planned to open the bar on Fridays and Saturdays, with student nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the new year.

"On Fridays we have a lot of European nights," he said.

"And on Saturdays we're going to be building our own nights with a celebrity DJ every month."

He said upcoming guests would include Ashley James from Made in Chelsea, and the venue hoped to attract acts such as Sigala and Ne-Yo.

READ MORE: 'Local people don't like change' - Bollywood club owner reveals Prince of Wales Road struggle

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