A MEDIEVAL theme bar could soon open on the site of a former Northampton estate agents.
Businessman Paul Hepworth was yesterday granted a licence by Northampton Borough Council to run Olde England on the corner of Kettering Road and Hood Street near the Racecourse.
During a 90-minute hearing at the Guildhall, Mr Hepworth told the council’s licensing committee, the bar would serve a mixture of medieval food and real ales and be a base for people to play chess.
He said: “I want to run it as a coffee and tea shop in the day then as a real ale and cider bar. There’s nothing else like that in Northampton.
“We’ll not be serving lager or alcopops. It will be a place for people to play chess and board games and eat traditional English food, mainly from the medieval period.”
Dishes planned for the bar’s menu include rabbit stew, pigeon pie and wild boar, while drinks will include fruit wines, honey mead, real ales, cider and perry.
Some people who live close to the proposed bar expressed fears about an increase in noise and nuisance problems.
Speaking on their behalf during the hearing, county councillor Winston Strachan (Lab, St Crispin) said: “Where this bar would be is a heavily residential area and the thought of granting a licence which could mean up to 48 people drinking in this building at one time, is quite frankly frightening to people who live nearby.”
But Mr Hepworth argued the customers he would target would not be trouble makers, adding: “It’s very unlikely that anybody who goes out to get drunk is going to come in to drink real ale.
“People who drink real ale drink it because they like the taste, not to get drunk.”
And the licensing committee agreed with him.
The chairman of the panel, Councillor Iftikhar Choudary (Lab, Abington) said: “We listened to residents’ concerns, however there has been no evidence that links any problems in the area with these premises.”
Mr Hepworth, who also runs a pub in Milton Keynes, said he planned to open Olde England in Northampton later this year.