A Newcastle bar has won the right to stay open later after promising to ban bar crawls.

Councillors have agreed to extend the licence of Pumphreys, in the Cloth Market, after city authorities had claimed that the venue’s reputation had been “tarnished”.

Northumbria Police and the city council’s licensing authority had objected to the bar’s bid to open until 2am every day, after being left unimpressed by its involvement in the Loosecrawl freshers event in September.

Members of the council’s licensing sub-committee were told at a hearing last month that students were enjoying a “party like atmosphere” and leaving the bar unchallenged while carrying booze in plastic cups, in contrast to the venue’s claims to be a  quieter, speakeasy-style location.

The well-known boozer recently underwent a major renovation and reopened as Pumphreys Blues Cafe, in the hope of changing its image and attracting younger patrons.

But the police dropped their objections after the bar’s management offered to accept a condition on its new licence preventing it from taking part in any pub crawl events organised by external promoters.

Confirming that the later licence has now been approved, the committee said: “The Sub-Committee has considered changes made by the current operators of Pumphreys  No 1 Bar and the efforts made to allay concerns of the Responsible Authorities. The Sub-Committee has taken into account that there were no representations from Environmental Health and that, following further concessions in the form of an earlier last entry time of 01.00hrs and a provision prohibiting bar crawls organised by external promoters, Northumbria Police withdrew their objections during the course of the hearing.

“The Sub-Committee is satisfied that the combination of the refurbished venue now operated by Mr [Rob] Clarkson and Mr [Tommy] Byron, together with the hours of operation and conditions offered, provide exceptional circumstances, and should ensure that the there is no negative impact on one or more of the licensing objectives.”

Barrister Charles Holland, representing Pumphreys owners Malhotra Leisure at September’s hearing, told councillors that the Cloth Market site has  become a “quirky and charming beacon venue” since its new management took over in 2020.

He argued that the later closing time was needed in order to stop customers leaving the bar early to get into queues outside rival bars and clubs around the Bigg Market that stayed open for longer.

Mr Holland concluded that, aside from the one “bump on the highway”, the bar was a “credit to the Bigg Market” and also offered a condition preventing any new entries after 1am as proof that the bar was simply seeking to retain its existing customers rather than attract new ones.