The Angel keeps its licence after closure threat is lifted

A DENTON pub has kept its licence after being bought and its licensee moved on after it faced being closed.

But there is a chance The Angel may change its name.

A fight that saw two people suffer serious injuries and leave blood all over the street, including on the door, wall and window of a nearby house, forced Greater Manchester Police to call for a review.

However, Tameside Council’s licensing committee decided to keep the Hyde Road establishment’s licence in place with strict conditions.

It will now be closed until November 1 as a refurbishment costing in the region of £130,000 is carried out.

But representatives admitted they are considering changing its name as they seek to rid the venue of its reputation.

And the Correspondent understands that had the previous tenant Matthew Bonilla remained in place then its licence would have been revoked.

Tameside Council’s licensing panel heard of the tale of woe that had seen The Angel get a bad reputation, including several fights and drug taking in its beer garden.

However, the EI Group took it on and will put in a manager after placing it under its Craft Union brand.

Even their own legal representative Richard Taylor admitted: “It’s not a bad pub, it’s just been badly run.

“What happened was so poor and we have to have structures in place to make sure that will never happen again.

“What we wanted to do was leave the tenancy with Michael Bonilla, whose tenancy ran out at the end of the year and refurbish it then.

“But we’ve had to move. We brought Mr Bonilla’s tenancy to an end and closed the pub down.
“Everyone wants a pub that’s well managed and a benefit to the community.

“The responsible thing to do was to take the pub off Mr Bonilla and close it. The causes are very, very clear – it was the former management of the pub.”

Mr Taylor also revealed that one of the options on the table is to change the pub’s name for when it reopens.

PC Michael Thorley of Greater Manchester Police led the call for a review after the latest incident on Friday, June 7, which was described at the licensing hearing as ‘gang related’.

The hearing heard that of three establishments in that area, 13 of the 15 incidents recorded by the police related to The Angel.

In a statement, PC Thorley said: “Patrons from The Angel leave the pub via the front door while in possession of glasses.

“A violent confrontation then ensues on the pavement by the front door where glasses from within the pub are used as weapons to cause serious injuries to the parties involved.

“Vehicles are caused to swerve and stop to avoid colliding with a number of males, who are seen to be fighting in the carriageway.

“The fight continues on to the footpath across the road from The Angel, close to the front door of a residential property, where a victim receives stab injuries.

“CCTV footage then shows an offender punch a bystander in an unprovoked attack, as he stood on the pavement outside The Angel holding a telephone.

“The first victim received a substantial injuries to his left eye where he had been assaulted with a glass and a six-inch long, two-inch deep laceration to his left flank believed to have been caused with a knife.

“This male is asked about his injuries and claims to police, ‘Don’t worry about it, nothing happened mate,’ the injured male continues, ‘Do I look like I’m going to bleed out?’”

Police also detailed a long list of complaints relating to the pub and added: “It was having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of residents who live in the vicinity.”

Officers from the police and Tameside Council’s licensing department met with the then licensee and proposed a number of conditions, many of which were rejected as they were ‘unachievable.’

But the move by the EI Group to buy The Angel and place it under its managed division, meaning they have direct responsibility of who is in charge, changed their minds.

And the committee decided to keep the pub open, with a series of conditions, including no glasses to be taken out to the beer garden and anyone wanting to drink outside must have them in plastic vessels.

Three door staff must also be employed from 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as bank holiday Sundays and occasions like Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

The authority also made them extend the range of football matches screened, from Manchester derbies, where everyone must use plastic glasses.

Head of the committee Cllr Dave Sweeton told Mr Taylor and Craft Union’s regional manager Mike Cotterill: “You are a big company with a reputation of getting things right.

“But on football occasions, it’s not only derbies. There’s a lot of rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool clubs and you should have door staff and plastic glasses on those occasions as well.”

Cllr Sweeton added to PC Thorley: “I’m very grateful you asked for a review, we should’ve seen this before.

“I hate to think occasions like this go on in Tameside. We’ve got to raise the bar, we can’t have communities intimidated or frightened to death.”

One Reply to “The Angel keeps its licence after closure threat is lifted”

  1. Very poorly run establishment, the then owner,Mr Bonilla,is only interested in what gos in his till and nothing else.good to see him go,now look at all the other pubs in Denton,which he is involved in..

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