Report by Alex Evans, Reporter
Sunday, April 29, 2012
A WESTON bar which was shut down after becoming home to drug dealers and an assault which left a man in a coma could be reopened – by the wife of its former licence holder.
Hotshotz bar, in Meadow Street, had its licence suspended by North Somerset Council in November, before pub management company GRS stripped Kashmira Johal of his contract to run the bar shortly before Christmas.
Police were called to Hotshotz more than 60 times between January and November 2011, including one incident where a woman was doused in petrol and another which left a man in a coma for several weeks.
Chief Inspector Jeffrey Foreman’s statement said there had been 12 assaults in Hotshotz, with one leaving a man possibly with ‘life changing’ injuries.
However, Wendy Johal and the bar’s manager Piers Kelly are looking to re-open the watering hole and have applied to the council to be joint licence holders.
They insist they can put the troubles firmly in the past and turn the bar’s image around.
Mrs Johal said: “It will be different this time.
“All the people that I knew were violent or did have an inkling were involved in drugs have been barred from the place and will remain barred.
“I am very confident there will not be any problems.”
Mrs Johal said she has received about 20-30 letters of support from nearby businesses.
She added: “It was popular in the town centre and there are a lot of people who want it open.”
However, police are against the plans.
PC Phil Rudden said at a town centre PACT meeting last week: “The police have huge objections to this.
“When Hotshotz was open it was a complete and utter nightmare and we are objecting to it being reopened.
“We are talking to residents and compiling their views as evidence to present to the council and hopefully that will stop it going through.”
The pair submitted their licence application to the council on March 28.
As part of the conditions which will be put on the licence if it is granted, the bar will have CCTV monitoring the premises at all times during opening hours.
The licensees will also keep a register of incidents of crime or disorder at the bar, made available to police and the council at their request, according to the application documents.
The deadline for objections to the application closed on Thursday, with a hearing into the application set for May 21.