Music ban bar is fighting to survive
APOPULAR town centre cocktail bar says it is fighting to survive - because it is not allowed to play music after 8pm.
XOXO Cocktail Lounge in Market Place is licensed to stay open until midnight, but has been told that it must not play music beyond eight.
Rochdale Borough Council says the 8pm cut off was imposed as a condition of planning permission for the lounge before it even opened.
But owner Tracy Mundy, whose daughter Terri Lea Westbury Elcock is the licensee, is adamant that they were not made aware of this at the time, as they would have contested it if they knew.
She says that their licence states that they can open, and play music, between 12pm and 12am and were left stunned when the issue only came to light after just one noise complaint.
When regulars at the lounge found out about the situation, they hosted their own sing-along to show their support.
But Tracy fears that people will eventually get fed up of not having any music and the business will suffer as a result.
Now Tracy and her family, who opened the bar last December after renovating a formerly derelict unit, are applying for permission to play music past 8pm, but have been told it could be eight weeks before they have an answer.
Tracy said: “You can’t expect people to sit in silence. It’s very unfair. We only ever play background music - it’s not a rave.
“You can’t hear the music from outside. The reason people like the bar is because they don’t have to shout to make themselves heard, they can have conversations.
“It’s a commercial street. When we first opened we thought it was either all business or derelict units. It’s a street of businesses but, unbeknownst to us, we have people living next door.”
Tracy says the situation is particularly frustrating, since the lounge and Terri are both nominated for Town Centre Management awards, in the best business and best businesswoman categories, respectively.
She added: “If we don’t get this matter resolved then we might not even make it to these awards
“If we won it, we’d be the first business in Middleton in 27 years to win it.
“I just want them to give us a break. Apart from this, things have been going so well.”
Mark Robinson, the council’s assistant director for planning and development, said: “We have received a complaint of music being played in the bar after 8pm, which would be a breach of its planning conditions.
“The bar owners are aware that music should not be played after 8pm and our enforcement team is investigating.”
Terri Lea Westbury Elcock, licensee of XOXO Coctail Lounge