> Some areas are particularly high density
> residential neighbourhoods where the new rules
> just cannot be casually applied without causing
> conflict. Shad Thames is one such area that needs
> special consideration. It's not about crucifying
> one local boozer but getting the Balance right
> between the avarice of the the twenty or so bars
> and restaurants and the need for locals to sleep
> uninterrupted for at least six hours a night.
But (and I know local estate agents will back me up here) Shad Thames is a little residential village, populated by well-behaved, cosmopolitan, well-off, thoroughly "U", people. It's not the sort of place random oiks would find themselves either drawn to, or by chance wandering through, in the middle of the night. Which leaves me to think that:
1) the only people likely to be denying you sleep are your neighbours (in which case you've got a bigger problem than pub closing times)
2) the "20 bars and restaurants" that you mention would find it hard to sustain non-stop provision of food and drink simply because there would not be the demand. Assuming you don't hear your neighbours coming in at all hours from late-night revelling in other parts of town now (and if you do, then just imagine how unpleasant it must be for the poor people who live near wherever your neighbours currently go out), it's unlikely that they will suddenly change their lifestyle and go wild 24/7 in the pub on the corner.
Although it saddens me to say it (because I prefer life to have simple rules, based on the philosophy in Field of Dreams where possible), I think this is one case where if you build it they will NOT come.
> But (and I know local estate agents will back me
> up here) Shad Thames is a little residential
> village, populated by well-behaved, cosmopolitan,
> well-off, thoroughly "U", people. It's not the
> sort of place random oiks would find themselves
> either drawn to, or by chance wandering through,
> in the middle of the night. Which leaves me to
> think that:
Depends on your definition of "oik"
Shad Thames is sufficiently close to the City to attract roaming gangs of alpha male traders to its upscale establishments for a bit of conspicuous consumption, particularly during bonus season. I suspect that the bars will remain open for as long as the Platinum Amex cards remain behind the bar.
[LR shudders in lapsed Methodist disgust as such hedonisitic behaviour]
Surely the question is how much noise will they make staggering
from the door of the bar to their taxis.
But Rabbie, the traders who live there will spend their bonuses there. The others will stay in Canary Wharf/Putney/wherever they live to spend their hardly-earned cash. They will stay there for precisely the same reasons that they did not move to Shad Thames themselves (namely that it's further away from their weekend place and the school's aren't so good for little Hugo and Annabel).
Do neighbours cause grief to one another from time to time?
Of course they do, in Shad Thames as much as in most other places.
Do they get tanked up or whatever elsewhere then behave antisocially when they get home or on the way?
Sure and it's unacceptable wherever & whenever it happens.
Amongst a (more mixed than you realise) population of a few thousand there will always be a minority annoying the majority and a few "incidents" from time to time. That's to be expected. That's tolerable to a degree. That's city life.
Ivanhoe makes a good point in his (tongue in cheek?) polemic but avoids the main issue. There is a very high, too high, number of licensed premises in Shad Thames per head of local population. It's a matter of fact not opinion, that this obviously increases the incidence of antisocial behaviour whether by locals or the high number of visitors, rich or not so, visiting posh places or not so. Longer hours = more grief. We need to agree some ground rules that's all.
In my view a kot of the thinking regarding alcohol hours is very short sighted. In Fance I walk into any corner store ad buy a bottle of whiskey at 3am - and their streets are not full of drooling rowdy people.
Nor is it about wine vs beer. You can get tanked just as much on wine. There are societal and behavioral issues which need to be dealth with - the hours themselves are a red herring.
When are the british people as parents and families going to teach their kids to drink repsonsiibly and behave properly. That is the question. This stuff starts at home. Nor does it help to paternalistically shut every bar at 11am and give people an unnecesary inscentive to drink all their beer NOWNOWNOWBEFORETHE BELL.
Even with regard to the hours, it merley gives the owners an option. In New Yrok City bards can open til 4am every single day of the week. Most don't. On weekdays they may do 1pm 2pm - and there are not crowds of drunk people outside pissing themselves.
I certain;ly would like to be able to just hang out at a place with friends late nigh in my neighbourhood bar have drinks and chat - and not feel like I must either go home at 11 or be crammed into a West End bar with bouncers, loud music cover charges members fees bla bla bla
And while they are at it can we get a 24-hr train system - this is supposed to be a "world city" fercrissakes and its 2005. Why is everyone being sent some at 11pm?
In a perfect world I would agree with everything Osamede says, however what he says about our national characteristics as drinkers is unfortunately absolutely true. Until this changes we are stuck with noisy people leaving local bars urinating and being sick all over residents houses and gardens. This may sound over the top but it is not. Try living near a pub in Shad Thames!
I agree totally about the trains - it is an absurd situation.
I'm not sure the notion of "national characteristics" can apply when we're talking about central London. Central London comprises such a diverse populace, something like 70% of its people are not British, or were not born in Britain. I believe it is wrong to think, therefore, that there is something inherently different about the British approach to alcohol when we're talking about whether pubs in London should stay open way past midnight.
If enough places remained open late, then two things would happen:
1. There wouldn't be the mad rush to down as many drinks before closing time
2. There wouldn't be the crowds of drunk people all leaving one place at one time... different places would close at different times, and there would no longer be the concentration of people all getting drunk in one place, all leaving at the same time.
On a separate note, I remember the good old days (well, about 10 years ago) when the Dean Swift was a lovely little pub with no TV screen... just sensible beer at sensible prices, and a stack of board games (Scrabble, Connect 4, etc) to play with other locals. Something changed along the way (probably the TV screen), and the place changed from being a nice friendly local pub, to a typical loud place frequented by boorish city-types. Can't they all go to an All Bar One or Wetherspoons and give us back a decent local?
BTW, apologies for the masses of typos in the above post.
But anyway, I think we should think about this as a long run thing and not just one snapshot. You might - scratch that, in fact you WILL -get some people being rowdy at the start because late nitgh hours are something new. But ultimately that would go away as people adjust.
And I do think that more important is to ask the question about personal responsibility. All the papers love to blame bars and pubs for people being beligerent drunks - but where are people held personally responsible for their own boorinsh behavior? I have never read a newspaper headline about that. Never. They are being absolved - because that wouldn't sell newspapers, would it?
A culture of that personal responsibiltiy has to develop too, over time.
So all these things take time. There really isn't any point in just looking at a snapshot instead of the long run picture.
None of this is outlandish at all. There are lots of places in the world without such draconian alcohol hours - and none of them are helholes to live in. Like I said, ask the average New Yorker about this there are local neighbourhod bars which are open til 2-3-4 am and no ill effects. If you get a street of just bars as you have in places like Hoxton, that's another story.
But having pars bubs cafes open late is a good thing. These spaces are actually the "living room", the social space of the community. The can actually make communities rather than break them. Especially as we all live in housing which is very poorly designed with respect to community and social space - courtesy of these very same Borough Councils via their planning authorities. So its not really acceptable to me that the very same bodies are strangling the hours of the community social spaces we do have.