The venue has had its license revoked by the council following two violent incidents
Spinningfields bar, restaurant and celebrity hangout Neighbourhood has been forced to close for a second time following gang violence.
The council had temporarily withdrawn Neighbourhood’s licence last month after an incident where a man was stabbed multiple times at the venue. Greater Manchester police said the stabbing could ‘easily have resulted in a fatality’.
A licensing review on Thursday 11 April resulted in the committee revoking Neighbourhood's licence.
Both these incidents demonstrate the extreme level of violence by customers and door staff at the premises
This follows a similar incident at Neighbourhood in 2018 when a doorman hit a customer, armed with a knife, in the face with a glass bottle.
Reading the licensing committee’s statement, the town hall’s legal adviser said: “Both these incidents demonstrate the extreme level of violence by customers and door staff at the premises.”
Referring to the more recent incident, which took place at the venue on March 18th, GMP disclosed that the alleged stabber is understood to be a member of a south Manchester organised crime group. He has since been arrested and an investigation is ongoing.
Lawyers for Neighbourhood defended the bar’s actions at the time, pointing out that staff had called an ambulance, tended to the victim and voluntarily closed the nightspot following the event.
After the panel heard that the venue had been attracting organised crime members, lawyers also put forward the argument that forcing Neighbourhood to close ‘doesn’t solve the problem of gangs in Manchester’.
During the licence review meeting, Neighbourhood’s managing director Simon Kaye laid out a number of strict conditions he planned to introduce including a stricter ID policy, crowd safety measures and facial recognition technology.
In response PC Alan Isherwood said that he had no confidence that the club would be able to effectively introduce new measures, arguing that many extra conditions had been put in place since last year’s review.
“Despite the extra conditions attached to the licence last year, the same violence and unsavoury element are still attending the premises,” he said.
The extra conditions proposed by the venue weren’t enough to convince the licensing panel to re-open it.
Following the panel’s announcement, Neighbourhood’s lawyer requested a compromise asking if the venue could remain open with much reduced hours, saying it would be ‘too extreme’ to revoke the licence altogether - with dozens of jobs at risk.
The licensing panel also rejected this option with the council’s legal adviser saying that the panel were concerned about the level of violence of the incidents and particularly the use of knives. Neighbourhood is entitled to appeal the decision.