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Durham's 'Spag' in 3.30am licence bid
A CITY centre bar which previously angered even its student neighbours with late-night noise could stay open until 3.30am under plans due to go before councillors next week.
Stereotype-busting Durham University students have twice defeated attempts to extend the hours of La Spaghettata, on Saddler Street, Durham.
Now venue owner Fabio Ciampolillo wants to stay open until 3.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, selling drinks until 3am.
Mr Ciampolillo is also seeking 30 minutes’ extra opening from Sunday to Thursday, taking closing time to 2.30am. Last orders would remain 2am.
The businessman’s lawyers, Sunderland-based Mortons Solicitors, say since withdrawing another licensing application last year, Mr Ciampolillo has undertaken a number of improvements to the premises, including installing double glazing, soundproofing on the walls and roof and a ventilation system which means windows can remain closed, keeping noise in.
There have been no complaints about the venue in the last 12 months and Mr Ciampolillo does not anticipate any rowdiness would follow the later opening, they add.
However, Elvet county councillor David Stoker is objecting to the change, saying it would result in more noise from music and customers.
He accuses Mr Ciampolillo of deliberately timing his bid for during university vacation so students are not in Durham to object and says there has been a breakdown of trust between himself and Mr Ciampolillo, with no progress made on the issues since last year.
In contrast, David Freeman, Elvet’s other county councillor, says the measures Mr Ciampolillo has undertaken could eliminate noise and only asks for the situation to be monitored.
Alan Ribchester, whose accountancy firm operates near to La Spaghettata, has written to the council saying his firm has had no problems with the venue.
The application is due to be heard by a Durham County Council licensing committee meeting in Chester-le-Street council chamber at 10am on Wednesday.
La Spaghettata, known as Spag, includes a first-floor Italian restaurant and third-floor bar, known as Fabio’s.