Violence-plagued bar set to find out if it can open before Christmas as police oppose plans

The owner of a Black Country bar that's been dogged by violence will find out tomorrow if he can reopen the venue next month,

The reopening of Seven Bar in Lower High Street, Wednesbury, is something West Midlands Police opposes
The reopening of Seven Bar in Lower High Street, Wednesbury, is something West Midlands Police opposes

Anthony Melia has applied to Sandwell Council to reopen Severn Bar, formerly The Turk's Head, in Lower High Street, Wednesbury.

The venue has been the scene of stabbings, violent assaults, robbery and attempted murder and had its licence revoked after police attended 26 times over a 12-month period. West Midlands Police detailed a long list of violent activity including when an a man who was believed to have been stabbed was still served whilst slumped over the bar.

However, its owner has said he's determined to turn the bar into a safe and trouble free venue, attracting an older clientèle during the afternoon and improving Wednesbury's night-time economy

Mr Melia has applied for four temporary event notices next month, running over the weekends of December 3-4, 9-11, 16-18 and 23-24 and opening from 10am-10pm on all days. The application also states that no more than 499 people will be present at any one time, including staff. He aims to use these temporary licences will help prove the new ownership will not attract trouble.

Speaking to the Express & Star earlier this month, Mr Melia said: "The people of Wednesbury love the place and want to see it back open and being run properly.

"All the previous problems were down to bad management. There will not be any trouble in the place if I am running it because I have run every pub in Wednesbury and know who the troublemakers are, they will not get near the place.

"When I managed the bar in 2016 we had no problems, and I was there nearly two years."

The 51-year-old said: "We want to open up for a few weekends before Christmas for a few music nights to show the place has changed.

"I will be aiming for an older crowd, who like good music and maybe some karaoke, our busy times will be during the afternoon and early evening. There are enough people in Wednesbury who like going out during the day."

West Midlands Police and Sandwell Council's environmental health officials has objected to the venue reopening and to the temporary event notices

In its objection, representatives from West Midlands Police have said reopening the venue will "seriously undermine the prevention of crime and disorder", adding that it is "concerned by the frequency and level of violence used by people attending this venue and suggest that its continued operation will see further incidents of serious crime and disorder taking place at the premises and in the immediate vicinity".

Meanwhile, environmental health officers have objected on the grounds of complaints from neighbours relating to noise, citing examples of residents witnessing fights, car drivers trying to run people down, urinating, vomiting and loud music.

The objections to the temporary event notices will be heard by Sandwell Council's licensing sub-committee at 10am on Tuesday.

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