Pop-up riverside bar seeks license to stay open permanently

The Weir bar overlooking the river in Norwich. 

The Weir bar overlooking the river in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin

A temporary riverside bar in Norwich is seeking to stay open permanently a year after withdrawing similar plans after complaints from neighbouring residents. 

The Weir, a bar and street food venue set up in a car park in Westwick Street, has been open at weekends with drinkers and diners overlooking the river near New Mills Yard.

Inset: Aidan Mahon has launched the Weir, a riverside bar in Norwich

Inset: Aidan Mahon has launched the Weir, a riverside bar in Norwich - Credit: The Weir/Archant

The venture, organised by Norwich publican Aidan Mahon, has now submitted an application for a permanent premises licence to stay beyond June.

It’s application seeks to allow the bar to open from midday to 10pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on a permanent basis from July 2.  

The Weir bar overlooking the river in Norwich. 

The Weir bar overlooking the river in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin

A previous permanent application for the venue, then known as Marquee of St Benedict's, was scrapped last year after an “unprecedented” number of complaints about noise, disruption and suitability of the site.

Reopening the bar last month without live music, Mr Mahon said: “When we were looking at the planning this year we wanted to make sure we took on board everything from last year.

"We've completely changed the way we've done things - we're only opening Friday, Saturday and Sundays, and we'll be closing at 10 every night.”


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The bar has reopened using temporary events notices, new legislation brought in by the government to allow pop-up venues during the Covid pandemic but which do not enable the public to object. 

Jamie Obsorn

 Green Party city councillor Jamie Osborn. - Credit: Jamie Osborn

Jamie Osborn, Green Party councillor for Mancroft Ward, said: “It is undemocratic that people had no opportunity to have a say.

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“We will be objecting to a permanent licence because it is a totally inappropriate place for an open air bar because it is in the middle of a residential area next to the water where the sound canyons down the river.

“They don’t have live music anymore but we have had complaints from residents about recorded music and obviously you have noise from people drinking and clearing up late into the night.”

Entrance to The Weir bar on Westwick Street in Norwich.

Entrance to The Weir bar on Westwick Street in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Diana Brooks, whose flat overlooks the river nearby, said: “Last summer the live music made it intolerable. 

“It hasn’t been quite as disruptive this year but it’s still like having a loud party on three nights every weekend and it’s a worry we might be stuck with it permanently.” 

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