Restrictions possible for nightspot

TOUGH restrictions – including banning male striptease shows, earlier closing and having licensed bouncers – look set to be imposed on a new £160,000 Felixstowe nightspot.

TOUGH restrictions – including banning male striptease shows, earlier closing and having licensed bouncers – look set to be imposed on a new £160,000 Felixstowe nightspot.

The venue's owner, Rikki Double, may also be sent on a special training course before he is allowed to open in order to ensure the nightclub is run properly and does not add to problems of late-night rowdiness in the seafront area.

It was hoped to open the new Bar Blue and Club Blue by the end of September but the project has hit delays.

Mr Double hopes the Blue-branded club and bar – to be opened in premises previously Bar None and The Wave at Charles Manning's Amusement Park in Sea Road – will be the first of a string of venues around the country.

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He has picked Felixstowe launch the project because he see it as "a niche in the market" and a chance to persuade youngsters to stay at the resort instead of going to Ipswich for a good night out.

Both premises are currently being modernised into state of the art venues and will both provide dancing and live acts, while the club will have music and the bar karaoke.

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But as yet he has not got a public entertainment licence for the venue and next Tuesday Suffolk Coastal's licensing and health committee will decide whether to issue a provisional one.

In a report to councillors, chief executive Tom Griffin says the previous owners of the premises were refused a renewal of their public entertainment licence until fire safety improvements were carried out. The club did not re-open.

Mr Griffin says meetings have been held with Mr Double but so far he has still not provided all the information needed by councillors about his venture.

Verbal assurances have been given that work will be done to a high standard, but fire officers and building control staff are still waiting for adequate plans.

"The way in which Mr Double has approached this matter raises questions as to his experience and his future performance as a licensee," says Mr Griffin in his report.

Neither police, fire service or council officers though are against the development – though controls on its operations are suggested.

Mr Double, company director for Bar Blue Ltd and formerly director of Belmont Security Ltd and Gemguard Security Services Ltd, may be asked to complete the national certificate of the Institute of Innkeepers' training programme before his licence is confirmed.

Councillors are also asked to consider restricting the hours of entertainment for Club Blue, especially as the premises was previously allowed to open until 3am at weekends, which added to public disorder problems.

Entertainment may also be restricted to music and dancing only – with a ban on male striptease performances, which the previous owners ran and at which the council was extremely concerned.

Door supervisors will be licensed and the premises required to take part in the Prove It initiative to keep out under 18s.

Mr Double has been invited to attend the committee meeting and be represented by a solicitor and face councillors' questions. He was not available for comment today.

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