BOSSES at a bar where door staff were spat at and had garlic sauce thrown at them during the summer have won a partial victory in their battle to ease operating rules.

Licensing chiefs at Durham County Council turned down an application by Bar 1, in Front Street, Consett, to reverse a previous ruling forcing the venue to serve all drinks in plastic containers.

But they also agreed to give the green light to plans to extend alcohol sales to 2.30am and closing time to 3am, seven days a week.

The proposals, which initially included a request for off sales which was later withdrawn, were opposed by police, who feared extending possible drinking hours in Consett would see ‘the propensity for drunkenness and alcohol fuelled violence increase accordingly’.

The venue lost its licence to sell alcohol in August 2019, when it was under previous management as Lux Bar, following a series of violent incidents.

A new licence was granted two months later after new bosses took over, with drinking hours reduced to 2am and with officers set against any extension of this.

“When the application was made, they asked for 3am to mirror what the previous owners had when it was Lux Bar,” said Sgt Caroline Dickenson, of Durham police.

“It was due to go to a licensing hearing, but we managed to mediate for a 2am close and so far there haven’t been any issues.

“But with everything that’s happened this year I feel the venue hasn’t had an adequate chance to prove themselves because of the lockdowns, so we can’t see how it will actually operate.”

Sgt Dickenson was speaking at last week’s meeting of the county council’s Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

The committee heard about a number of issues at the venue over the summer including door staff being spat at and having garlic sauce thrown at them and cocaine and cannabis being confiscated from would-be customers.

Applicant Samantha Jakeman said the licensing hours extension was needed to run the bar ‘effectively’ and make up for sales lost due to Covid-19 restrictions, which panel members accepted.

But they rejected a request to overturn conditions requiring plastic drinks containers, despite assertions it was costing the venue business.