New venue in York plans burlesque nights – and a rooftop bar. But the police aren’t happy

1 Feb 2021 @ 6.56 pm
| News

York’s newest bar plans to stay open till 3am, host burlesque nights and serve cocktails on a rooftop bar.

But its application for a new licence has met strong opposition from North Yorkshire Police.

Impossible Wonderbar and Tea Rooms opened in the former Carluccio’s restaurant on St Helen’s Square in December, before closing again when lockdown hit.

The company has also taken over the former Marchbrae shop next door – where it is due to open a hotel.

Impossible describes itself as a restaurant, bar, cocktail club and speakeasy.

Now it has revealed more of its plans in a licensing application to be discussed by councillors next week.

Owners Tokyo Industries want to:

  • open from 8am to 3.30am daily
  • sell alcohol till 3am
  • stage live performances, including burlesque, cabaret and theatre
  • screen films

The management have agreed to fit a digital noise limiter, and adhere to a noise management plan agreed with the council.

CCTV would cover all areas, there would be trained doorstaff employed, and the rooftop terraces would stop being used at 1am.

Nine bars listed

Both the police and council officers are objecting to the licence application.

Licensing officer PC Kim Hollis says the force opposes it because they are concerned it would lead to more crime, disorder and public nuisance.

The bar sits within York’s cumulative impact assessment zone (CIA), which is “under the most stress from crime and disorder and public nuisance” from the high number of licensed premises.

This is the area earmarked for the roof terrace at Impossible York. Photograph © Google Street View

PC Hollis says there are nine bars listed at Impossible York.

“The limited offering of 120 table covers over four floors is completely inadequate and could allow the venue to become a vertical drinking establishment,” PC Hollis writes.

“North Yorkshire Police would not oppose an application for a food led premises within the CIA area with timings and conditions ensuring the promotion of the four licensing objectives and which would not add to the cumulative impact of crime and disorder in the area…

“It is felt that this application does not take measures to mitigate associated risks with the adding of another alcohol-led establishment.”

Noise worries

It will serve cocktails and host live music

City of York Council’s licensing manager opposes the application on similar grounds.

And Michael Golightly of the council’s environmental protection team raised concerns about noise, particularly from the roof bar.

“There are two levels proposed to the roof top terrace, the lower of which is directly opposite residential flats with little to no screening.

“The residents of these flats have to date been shielded from ground level city noise.

“This application would seek to change the nature of the roof top and bring the city noise and licensed activity noise from ground level up to this area until 1am, 7 days a week.”

The licensing hearing will take place on Monday, 8 February at 11am. You can watch proceedings on the City of York Council YouTube page.