Wetherspoon opts for all-night drinking

Click to follow
The Independent Online

JD Wetherspoon has become the first major pub chain to apply for new 24-hour drinking licences.

JD Wetherspoon has become the first major pub chain to apply for new 24-hour drinking licences.

Breaking ranks with the rest of the industry, Wetherspoon has already made one application for a 24-hour licence and is considering more. In contrast, the leading groups in the rest of the sector have so far resisted the opportunity to remain open for all-night drinking

A spokesman for Wetherspoon said the group had submitted a request to Leeds city council to open its pub in the city's railway station around the clock. It is also looking at applications for its venues in London's Victoria and Liverpool Street stations, as well as its 10 airport pubs.

"Railway stations and airports are pretty much open for 24 hours these days anyway. They are in specific situations. We are not considering 24-hour licences for our high street pubs," the spokesman said.

Licensing laws allowing pubs and restaurants to apply for 24-hour opening came into effect this year, but have met with opposition over violent, binge-drinking behaviour on Britain's streets. Only a handful of individually owned pubs and some supermarket chains are thought to have applied for licences to sell alcohol all night.

Not one member of the British Beer and Pubs Association, which accounts for 60 per cent of the industry, has said it plans to open 24 hours. Many pubs, however, plan to use the new laws to extend opening times by a few hours.

Comments