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Cocktail bar to be allowed to open until 2am in Stafford

By Thomas Parkes | Staffordshire | Dining out | Published:

A new champagne and cocktail bar in Stafford town centre will be allowed to open until 2am at weekends – despite concerns about noise nuisance for residents living nearby.

La Casa which is set to become The Tree House. Photo: Google

The Tree House, which is located above Italian restaurant La Casa in Mill Street, has been described by business owner Rocco Johnson as a high-end venue that will offer a relaxed setting for visitors enjoying a late night out on the town before they head to nearby clubs.

But the proposed closing time of 2am sparked objections from a local businessman, resident and flat owner in Mill Street.

Mr Johnson initially sought permission for The Tree House to be able to open until 2am seven days a week. But following negotiations with Stafford Borough Council’s environmental health team it was agreed that the premises would close at 12am five nights a week, with the 2am closing time remaining for Fridays and Saturdays.

Stafford Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee agreed to the closing times when it granted a premises licence to Mr Johnson on Wednesday.

But Adrian Parker, who spoke at the hearing, said “If this is going to be a sophisticated tapas, champagne and cocktail bar why does it have to be open until 2am and have music until that time of the morning? My worry is it will become a general drinking and late night music venue and there will be a nuisance factor.

"I have two flats in Mill Street and there are various others above shops. There are the almshouses at the end of the street with old folk living in them.

"This has been a quiet street for a number of years. More and more people starting to live above premises.

"It’s not about stopping the business – I’m happy with the sophisticated champagne and cocktail bar. I don’t see the reason why it should go on so late at night."

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The hearing heard the premises had been covered by a licence allowing it to stay open until 12am for many years.

Mr Johnson told the panel that there would be CCTV coverage in place at the entrance and inside the venue. And on the later opening nights there would be security staff at the doors.

He added: "We are not a club or a late-night venue – we are more of a chilled, relaxed atmosphere with high end cocktails, champagne and food. We want the venue to be focused on relaxed pre-drinks before people go to the club on the corner and we want people not to have to rush to leave the premises at 12am.

"Being open later at night gives people the opportunity to leave at 1am or 1.30am and there will be security in place in case there is even a problem. There won’t be loud music – the audio system we have is for background music."

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Senior Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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