Belushis is licenced till 4am on 2 nights a week. I went to speak to object but to no avail. Now we often get an almighty rumpus just after 4 in the morning, with shouting and screaming. The arch at the end of Mermaid Court reeks with urine. I have not been disturbed by noise from people or music inside, its just those leaving in a more advanced state of inebriation than if they had been turfed out a bit earlier. I wouldn't like to be in Shad Thames, the shouting would echo down the canyon-like street.
Shad Thames is hardly a place that gets thronged with people who don't live there (apart from on sunny weekend afternoons), IMHO. Let's face it, you'd be walking an odd route if you were "just passing through".
I can only imagine that the owners of these pubs must be convinced that there's a call in the neighbourhood for 4am drinking, or that they plan to bus the punters in from farther afield (it'd have to be bus, because there's no other public transport round there).
I can't imagine I'd be leaving the comfort of my million pound warehouse conversion in the early hours of the morning to go and have a beer in the Dean Swift, or have I missed something?
Perhaps there's a cultural difference between "us" and other Europeans, which makes us wary of late night drinking.
Over the years, I've spent some time in Madrid, Barcelona and Brussels. In each of these cities the locals go out to bars much later than over here, and don't feel the need to down 50 pints an hour, in order to get as sloshed as possible for closing time.
So long as enough places open late, then hopefully there shouldn't be a problem as people get used to idea that the pubs are open late, and the "novelty factor" wears off. If only a few places open late, then the novelty factor for certain groups will still be there, and they will actively seek out those few places that have late night licenses.
I have this theory that liberalising the licensing laws creates a more responsible society. You should see how sloshed the Swedes when they travel outside of their heavily controlled environment...
So in short, I suppose I'd be OK with the Dean Swift (and other Shad Thames hostelries) opening late, so long as several other places around the neighbourhood open late also, so that the Dean Swift doesn't become this "late night drinking magnet".
Sorry, edited to say that this really needs to be combined with the landlords taking a more responsible attitude. ie. refusing to serve customers who are way passed it! This is something I certainly found in Brussels (I'm talking the neighbourhood areas of Brussels, not the Grand Place region)
Edited 2 times. Last edit at 27 June 2005 5.40pm by Martin Underwood.