'Mini Las Vegas' warning over retail park bar plan

'Mini Las Vegas' warning over retail park bar plan

SEEKING LICENCE: Pets at Home at the Arnison Centre, Durham, where restaurant chain Frankie and Benny's has applied to have a drinks licence. Picture: TOM BANKS

SEEKING LICENCE: Pets at Home at the Arnison Centre, Durham, where restaurant chain Frankie and Benny's has applied to have a drinks licence. Picture: TOM BANKS

SEEKING LICENCE: Pets at Home at the Arnison Centre, Durham, where restaurant chain Frankie and Benny's has applied to have a drinks licence. Picture: TOM BANKS

SEEKING LICENCE: Pets at Home at the Arnison Centre, Durham, where restaurant chain Frankie and Benny's has applied to have a drinks licence. Picture: TOM BANKS

First published in News

A ROW has broken out over the future of an edge-of-town shopping centre, with neighbours claiming a new restaurant and bar would turn the area into a ‘mini Las Vegas’.

The Arnison Centre, at Pity Me, near Durham, is undergoing a multi-million pound expansion, which involves the construction of three new units, plus Pets at Home moving into the former Comet store and its previous premises being split into smaller shops.

Since it opened 25 years ago, the complex has mostly comprised large retail stores.

But now, in addition to the existing McDonalds, there are plans to open a Frankie and Benny’s Italian-American restaurant and bar, which would sell alcohol until midnight and stay open until 12.30am seven days-a-week.

The proposals have angered residents of Hag House, an exclusive estate across Rotary Way, including county councillor Nigel Martin and former MP Gerry Steinberg.

Councillor Martin predicted Hag House’s eight families would suffer excessive noise, late-night disturbance, more ‘boy racers’ and drink driving.

He said no music should be heard outdoors and alcohol sales should stop at 8pm.

But the strongest criticism came from John and Allison Heron, who said the development would set a dangerous precedent for the Arnison Centre and turn it into a “mini Las Vegas”.

“I would like to suggest that Franky (sic) and Benny set up their night club in one of the vacant premises in North Road,” they said.

The matter is due to be settled by a Durham County Council licensing committee meeting at County Hall at 10am on Tuesday (July 15).

The Restaurant Group (UK), the firm behind the plans, said there would be a waiter/waitress service through the restaurant “affording control and supervision”, substantial food would be served throughout licensed hours and CCTV would be installed and footage made available to the council on request.

Further, staff would ask anyone who looks under 21 for proof of ID before selling them alcohol and receive special training.

Meanwhile, Pets at Home will re-open in the Murcia Retail Park section of the Arnison Centre on Friday, July 18.

The new 10,000ft store will create three new jobs and include a grooming room for pets.

A party will be held across July 19 and July 20 to mark opening weekend, with free face painting for children from 10am to 4pm and discounts.

Comments (16)

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4:49pm Thu 10 Jul 14

behonest says...

"John and Allison Heron, said the development would set a dangerous precedent for the Arnison Centre and turn it into a “mini Las Vegas”.
“I would like to suggest that Franky (sic) and Benny set up their night club in one of the vacant premises in North Road,” "

What a complete load of nimby nonsense! It is not a night club, and it's a lie to suggest it is. It's similar to the Dunelm Ridge, and various other family restaurant/bar establishments. Vegas is all about gambling, there will be no gambling here! Ridiculous spin attempt by the Heron's that anyone can see through.

Whether the political clout of Nigel 'alcohol sales should stop at 8pm' Martin (who does he think he is?), and Steinberg, will stop the creation of these jobs for several local younger people, in order to prevent any slight disturbance close to their back yards, remains to be seen.

I suspect the council will just roll over for their political friends, rather than do the right thing, but let's see.
"John and Allison Heron, said the development would set a dangerous precedent for the Arnison Centre and turn it into a “mini Las Vegas”. “I would like to suggest that Franky (sic) and Benny set up their night club in one of the vacant premises in North Road,” " What a complete load of nimby nonsense! It is not a night club, and it's a lie to suggest it is. It's similar to the Dunelm Ridge, and various other family restaurant/bar establishments. Vegas is all about gambling, there will be no gambling here! Ridiculous spin attempt by the Heron's that anyone can see through. Whether the political clout of Nigel 'alcohol sales should stop at 8pm' Martin (who does he think he is?), and Steinberg, will stop the creation of these jobs for several local younger people, in order to prevent any slight disturbance close to their back yards, remains to be seen. I suspect the council will just roll over for their political friends, rather than do the right thing, but let's see. behonest
  • Score: 46

8:09pm Thu 10 Jul 14

jaybotoon says...

Totally agree with "behonest" planning permission will most likely NOT be granted as the complainant's are "connected".
It's always the same.
Never mind the jobs created, the extra revenue for the area or the greater choice being made available to the public as long as the privileged are happy then sod the rest of us.
Totally agree with "behonest" planning permission will most likely NOT be granted as the complainant's are "connected". It's always the same. Never mind the jobs created, the extra revenue for the area or the greater choice being made available to the public as long as the privileged are happy then sod the rest of us. jaybotoon
  • Score: 27

9:26pm Thu 10 Jul 14

MagicAlf says...

This is quite possibly the most ridiculous objection to a development I've seen. It is a restaurant where people will go to eat and perhaps have a beer or glass of wine as well. It will be blatant corruption if this development is turned down on the basis of such a pathetic argument.
This is quite possibly the most ridiculous objection to a development I've seen. It is a restaurant where people will go to eat and perhaps have a beer or glass of wine as well. It will be blatant corruption if this development is turned down on the basis of such a pathetic argument. MagicAlf
  • Score: 41

2:59pm Fri 11 Jul 14

indynero says...

"Mini Las Vegas", what rubbish. Hag House was nothing but a farm when the Arnison Centre was built, still 25 years later we still lack the Bowling Alley and the other food outlets, outlined in the original scheme. If I remember rightly there was supposed to be two other units after McDonalds., where the proposed restaurant is planned. May I also point out that the "exclusive estate", is no more then a barn conversion which as completed many years later and those who have chosen to live there, known of the existence of the retail park, shop there and despite complaining would probably eat in a Frankie & Benny's. Boldon, which has the CineWorld cinema, Pizza Hut, McDonald's and Frankie and Benny's, staff are employed to patrol the car park and outlets. If you have seen the movie, Batteries Not Included and can remember the final scene of the building with the restaurant and apartments, surrounded by the modern high rise buildings, think of Hag House been that building and fast forward 10 years or so, when the land to the north is developed, complain then!
"Mini Las Vegas", what rubbish. Hag House was nothing but a farm when the Arnison Centre was built, still 25 years later we still lack the Bowling Alley and the other food outlets, outlined in the original scheme. If I remember rightly there was supposed to be two other units after McDonalds., where the proposed restaurant is planned. May I also point out that the "exclusive estate", is no more then a barn conversion which as completed many years later and those who have chosen to live there, known of the existence of the retail park, shop there and despite complaining would probably eat in a Frankie & Benny's. Boldon, which has the CineWorld cinema, Pizza Hut, McDonald's and Frankie and Benny's, staff are employed to patrol the car park and outlets. If you have seen the movie, Batteries Not Included and can remember the final scene of the building with the restaurant and apartments, surrounded by the modern high rise buildings, think of Hag House been that building and fast forward 10 years or so, when the land to the north is developed, complain then! indynero
  • Score: 27

5:18pm Fri 11 Jul 14

BornInTheNorth says...

Mini Las Vegas? Have these barm pots ever been out the confines of their secure unit????? It irritates the life out of me to hear people complaining about any development close to them, but nominating it to be put somewhere else. Put up, shut up, and get over yourself, you don't live in the middle of the Yorkshire moors for goodness sake.
Mini Las Vegas? Have these barm pots ever been out the confines of their secure unit????? It irritates the life out of me to hear people complaining about any development close to them, but nominating it to be put somewhere else. Put up, shut up, and get over yourself, you don't live in the middle of the Yorkshire moors for goodness sake. BornInTheNorth
  • Score: 24

10:45pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Juniper87 says...

This is hilarious!!! Some people need to do some research or infact get a life! Frankie and bennys is a American/ Italian themed FAMILY restaurant.... Their bars are the size of postage stamps! How about dunelm ridge? They have a alcohol licence!!!!

The couple in the above article, who deemed the Arnison centre to become a 'mini las Vegas' clearly need to get out more! This article is a laughing stock amongst social media!!! A mini Las Vegas....??????!!!!!



It's the same, stereotypical individuals who always object to new developments that are all tarred to the same brush... We want to keep our businesses thriving in durham- not pushing the custom elsewhere to the likes of the metro centre.

In future, do your research before sprouting off nonsense to the local paper!!! It's a laughing stock!
This is hilarious!!! Some people need to do some research or infact get a life! Frankie and bennys is a American/ Italian themed FAMILY restaurant.... Their bars are the size of postage stamps! How about dunelm ridge? They have a alcohol licence!!!! The couple in the above article, who deemed the Arnison centre to become a 'mini las Vegas' clearly need to get out more! This article is a laughing stock amongst social media!!! A mini Las Vegas....??????!!!!! It's the same, stereotypical individuals who always object to new developments that are all tarred to the same brush... We want to keep our businesses thriving in durham- not pushing the custom elsewhere to the likes of the metro centre. In future, do your research before sprouting off nonsense to the local paper!!! It's a laughing stock! Juniper87
  • Score: 18

8:22am Sat 12 Jul 14

Adam says says...

I'll have £200 on Frankie at 10/1
I'll have £200 on Frankie at 10/1 Adam says
  • Score: 5

12:11pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Debra.lunn says...

is this another case NIMBY never mind the benefits it could provide...
is this another case NIMBY never mind the benefits it could provide... Debra.lunn
  • Score: 5

2:02pm Sat 12 Jul 14

bishop1 says...

I wonder if teesside park has a major alcohol & anti social behaviour problem from it's frankie & benny's , erm nope .
some people might like a pint with their meal , others may not , but I very much doubt the general population are going to head to frankie & benny's for a night out on the drink .
I wonder if teesside park has a major alcohol & anti social behaviour problem from it's frankie & benny's , erm nope . some people might like a pint with their meal , others may not , but I very much doubt the general population are going to head to frankie & benny's for a night out on the drink . bishop1
  • Score: 6

4:31pm Sat 12 Jul 14

pilchrat says...

What utter rubbish. And as if the Echo even bothered to publish this. Clearly the reporter involved hasn't been to a Frankie and Benny's either before unless they're just hoping a bit of stupidity might sell a few more papers / get a few more website visits. What nonsense. Frankie and Benny's a nightclub - hah! I can't think of any proper sit-down restaurant that doesn't sell alcohol. Nimby rubbish. Even the bit about loud music - the only loud music I've ever heard is "Congratulations" by Cliff Richard when they dim the lights and bring out a birthday cake on special occasions. Other than that, it's just oldies turned down low.
What utter rubbish. And as if the Echo even bothered to publish this. Clearly the reporter involved hasn't been to a Frankie and Benny's either before unless they're just hoping a bit of stupidity might sell a few more papers / get a few more website visits. What nonsense. Frankie and Benny's a nightclub - hah! I can't think of any proper sit-down restaurant that doesn't sell alcohol. Nimby rubbish. Even the bit about loud music - the only loud music I've ever heard is "Congratulations" by Cliff Richard when they dim the lights and bring out a birthday cake on special occasions. Other than that, it's just oldies turned down low. pilchrat
  • Score: 7

6:04pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Stanley03 says...

Lol some people really are pathetic! Have these people ever set foot in Frankie and Bennys?? It's a RESTAURANT. And I presume they have never been to Las Vegas if they think a frankie and Bennys restaurant and a drive through McDonald's constitutes a 'mini las Vegas'! U have to laugh at some people, afraid of change and blinkered to changing with the times. If anything this will rid the area of boy races - they certainly won't be going and sitting in a restaurant. And a late licence?? So some people will go and dine there on an evening and would like a glass of wine with it - shock horror!
Lol some people really are pathetic! Have these people ever set foot in Frankie and Bennys?? It's a RESTAURANT. And I presume they have never been to Las Vegas if they think a frankie and Bennys restaurant and a drive through McDonald's constitutes a 'mini las Vegas'! U have to laugh at some people, afraid of change and blinkered to changing with the times. If anything this will rid the area of boy races - they certainly won't be going and sitting in a restaurant. And a late licence?? So some people will go and dine there on an evening and would like a glass of wine with it - shock horror! Stanley03
  • Score: 7

10:10pm Sat 12 Jul 14

pilchrat says...

I cribbed this from The Restaurant Group's website where it describes Frankie and Benny's lol I presume all the miscreants who "nightclub" do so at restaurants which play "50's swing" ... :P

Among the most popular family restaurant brands in the UK today, Frankie & Benny’s trades successfully in leisure, retail and airport locations nationwide. It remains a favourite with families, couples, friends and business diners. Frankie & Benny’s brings together the best of classic American-Italian style cuisine. Alongside favourites including char-grilled burgers, steaks, pizza, and pasta are house specialities such as chicken parmigiana, BBQ ribs and seafood dishes. Inside, Frankie & Benny’s has the atmosphere of a favourite family-run restaurant. From the clear view of the open kitchen to the bottle lined bar, it takes you back to 1950’s New York. Take a seat in a cosy booth and look at the family snapshots showing life in the Lower East Side of the Big Apple. Music is classic 50’s American swing. With over 230 restaurants across the UK, Frankie & Benny’s is a family restaurant appealing and familiar to everyone.
I cribbed this from The Restaurant Group's website where it describes Frankie and Benny's lol I presume all the miscreants who "nightclub" do so at restaurants which play "50's swing" ... :P Among the most popular family restaurant brands in the UK today, Frankie & Benny’s trades successfully in leisure, retail and airport locations nationwide. It remains a favourite with families, couples, friends and business diners. Frankie & Benny’s brings together the best of classic American-Italian style cuisine. Alongside favourites including char-grilled burgers, steaks, pizza, and pasta are house specialities such as chicken parmigiana, BBQ ribs and seafood dishes. Inside, Frankie & Benny’s has the atmosphere of a favourite family-run restaurant. From the clear view of the open kitchen to the bottle lined bar, it takes you back to 1950’s New York. Take a seat in a cosy booth and look at the family snapshots showing life in the Lower East Side of the Big Apple. Music is classic 50’s American swing. With over 230 restaurants across the UK, Frankie & Benny’s is a family restaurant appealing and familiar to everyone. pilchrat
  • Score: 4

5:59am Sun 13 Jul 14

johnny_p says...

Welcome to the North-East.

We've got an awful lot of growing up to do.
Welcome to the North-East. We've got an awful lot of growing up to do. johnny_p
  • Score: 5

4:46pm Sun 13 Jul 14

sensible says...

A Northern Echo story hasn't had me laughing so much in ages!
A Northern Echo story hasn't had me laughing so much in ages! sensible
  • Score: 3

6:00pm Sun 13 Jul 14

foss says...

A night club. Yeah, that's exactly how you'd describe a restaurant where the only interruption to your meal is the 'happy birthday' music beginning as yet another child is served birthday cake by a waiter *rolls eyes* Some people don't have the brains they're born with. No wonder people look down on the north east when some of its residents spend their lives complaining and objecting about things they clearly know nothing about. Utterly laughable.
A night club. Yeah, that's exactly how you'd describe a restaurant where the only interruption to your meal is the 'happy birthday' music beginning as yet another child is served birthday cake by a waiter *rolls eyes* Some people don't have the brains they're born with. No wonder people look down on the north east when some of its residents spend their lives complaining and objecting about things they clearly know nothing about. Utterly laughable. foss
  • Score: 2

10:00pm Sun 13 Jul 14

caberwocky1 says...

its a restaurant-not that great but its a restaurant-nightclub
?

knee jerk reaction+arrant nonsense.
its a restaurant-not that great but its a restaurant-nightclub ? knee jerk reaction+arrant nonsense. caberwocky1
  • Score: 0

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