Violence-plagued Black Country bar is now 'trouble-free', says landlord

The landlord of a violence-plagued pub says he has proved it can be run “trouble-free” after safely negotiating ‘Black Eye Friday’.

Landlord Anthony Melia at Seven Bar, Wednesbury
Landlord Anthony Melia at Seven Bar, Wednesbury

Anthony Melia has taken over Seven Bar on Lower High Street, Wednesbury, which was shut down by Sandwell Council last June after police attended 26 violent incidents in 12 months.

The 51-year-old saw his application to reopen rejected in October, but was granted temporary event notices (TENs) to open for 10 days in the run up to Christmas.

He said the period had been “trouble-free”, despite opening for England World Cup games and on ‘Black Eye Friday’ – the day when workplaces break up which is notorious for booze-fuelled violence.

Mr Melia is hoping the bar will be granted a full licence to reopen when his appeal is heard at a meeting in March.

Landlord Anthony Melia says he has shown Seven Bar, Wednesbury, can be run trouble-free

He said: “We had a lot of interest from the local community, who have been behind us 100 per cent. Although we had a few early issues with the beer due to being closed for so long, things have gone really well. We were open through the World Cup and on Black Eye Friday, where the town was at its busiest, but we’ve had no trouble at all.

"I would hope that this will all be taken into account at our licensing appeal. At the end of the day, we have had no problems at times when I know there were issues elsewhere in the town.

“There is really nothing for them to object to.”

Mr Melia said police had been keeping a “close eye” on the venue, and had attended on several occasions while the TENs were in place. West Midlands Police had called for the bar to shut down last year and opposed its reopening after detailing a string of violent incidents, including stabbings, glassings, hammer attacks and mass brawls.

Seven Bar is set to open under TENs on January 21 and 22, ahead of an appeal to Sandwell Council’s licensing committee on March 10.

Mr Melia is planning to revert to its old name of The Turks Head.

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