Twitter has been abuzz with disappointment at the ruling on opening hours at K-Town’s favourite subterranean cocktail bar, Shebeen.
The application for a 2am weekend licence was rejected (in favour of 12:30am) after a classic up-in-arms NIMBY resident campaign, including a particularly bizarre suggestion of changing the bar’s name to be “more acceptable”, made by a Labour councillor.
With the odd objection coming from as far away as the Inkerman area, Camden New Journal ran a story with the only approving voices being our own and that of food ‘n’ drink sage Richard Ehrlich. However the social media sentiment tells a very different story.
We suggest the views of all residents are taken into account when it comes to clipping the wings of exciting new ventures in the local area. Such rulings send out a very negative message to business-owners at a time when our high street is thankfully bucking the national trend for sporting the boarded-up look.
Residents groups will naturally and rightly put up a fight for the preservation of a pub like The Castle, but it must be remembered, the reason the building has sat empty for 2 years is that previous attempts to operate it as a viable pub have been thwarted by… residents’ complaints.
It’s simply not possible to have it both ways. Modern city life is by definition noisy, slightly chaotic and necessarily vibrant. There are plenty of silent suburban idylls a little further up the road where any sleep-troubling pubs have long shut down, if you enjoy that kind of vibe. We should all be united in encouraging inner city Kentish Town culture to grow and flourish. Otherwise, to apply an old phrase, we really won’t know just how much we have lost until it is gone.
The venue will be appealing the decision. We look forward to raising a civilised cocktail to their success at 1.45am at some stage in the future.
Words: Tom Kihl
Here’s the live Twitter feed. Scroll down to see opinion on the licence debate.