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Two popular Belfast venues given greenlight to extend entertainment licensing hours

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At the most recent meeting of the Belfast City Council Licensing Committee, elected members granted extensions for the Oh Yeah Music Centre, 15 – 21 Gordon Street, BT1, and The Post House 32 – 40 Malone Road, BT9.

The Oh Yeah Music Centre application was by Ryan O’ Neill. The variation is to extend the hours during which entertainment may be provided on Friday nights from 1am to 2am.

The creative hub, which features a live music venue, cafe and history exhibits, along with a recording studio, will be open Monday to Thursday 8:00 am to 1.00am, Friday and Saturday 8:00 am to 2.00am and Sunday 8:00 am to 12.00 midnight.

The council report states: “At present entertainment is provided in the form of live bands playing from Monday to Sunday inclusive. The licensee has stated that they would like the variation to extend the permitted hours until 2.00am on a Friday night to bring the hours in line with a Saturday night.

“Some promoters have shown interest in booking the venue on a Friday night until 2.00am. They have also stated that the facility to provide entertainment to 2.00am on a Friday night would only be used occasionally.”

There were no objections to the application from the public or statutory authorities.

The Post House application was by Paul Langsford, Clover Pubs NI No4 Limited. The variation is to extend the hours during which entertainment may be provided on Monday and Tuesday nights from 11am to 1am the following morning. The new hours will be Monday to Saturday 11:30 am to 1.00am, and Sunday 12:30 pm to 12.00 midnight.

A special condition is attached to the new licence permitting entertainment to 12.30am on Easter Monday and if Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day or Halloween fall on Monday or Tuesday night.

A further condition stipulates that the licensee is to attend, as required, liaison meetings between the council’s Building Control Service, the Lower Malone Residents’ Association and the PSNI.

Major refurbishment works were carried out to this premises in 2023 and The Post House now operates as a restaurant/bar where previously, as the Eglantine Inn, it operated as a nightclub.

The council report on the application states: “The licensee has stated that they would like the variation to extend the permitted hours until 1am on a Monday and Tuesday nights to bring the hours in line with their other nights.

“The main reason for this is to stay competitive with other local bars in the area and in the City Centre as they lose any crowd they have on these nights to other local bars after 11pm. At present entertainment is provided in the form of live bands playing from Thursday to Sunday inclusive.”

It adds: “This area of the Malone Road in the 1990’s was a major centre for nightlife in the city. The three licensed premises located in this area, the Botanic Inn, the Eglantine Inn (which is now the Post House), and the Wellington Park Hotel have in the past been subject to objections and complaints which resulted in a number of committee and special committee meetings.

“Additionally, decisions of the council were subject of appeal by the applicants and heard at Belfast Recorders Court. Members are reminded that the normal process for dealing with entertainments licence applications which are not the subject of objections is that the licence will be granted, as provided for in the council’s scheme of delegation.

“However, due to previous conditions set by the council restricting the hours of entertainment for the three licensed premises in this area, this application is being presented for consideration even though no objections have been received.”

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