Bar owner hits out over four month closure

FRANKIE’S Bar has been forced to close its doors for four months.

But Frankie McFarlane, who owns the pub with his daughter Joanne, has vowed to appeal the decision over what he described as “trivialities”.

The order was made in private at the latest meeting of the Licensing Board at Newtown St Boswells.

And it follows a similar period of enforced closure earlier this year when the Bourtree Place pub was shut for three months.

It is understood the latest review application included a number of concerns from the police.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council told the Hawick News: “The board heard from the police of a number of incidents in and around these premises. The first call out they had was the same day the pub reopened after the previous closure.”

The Board also heard from the licence holder’s representative, from Caledonian Heritable Ltd., and after a debate it was agreed to suspend the premises licence.

It was also stipulated that there must be a personal licence holder on the premises at all times when the pub is open – which is not a standard requirement. And the right to take alcohol to drink outside was removed.

The spokesperson added: “The actions were deemed necessary to meet the licensing objectives.”

But Mr McFarlane, who is joint licence holder, hit back. He said: “We’re not happy with the decision. That’s five jobs that are lost over trivialities and these people have families to support.

“They want cameras outside the pub and these have been ordered.

“We’ve been given five things to fix and then we can appeal and we’re addressing them immediately.”

However, local councillor George Turnbull backed the suspension. He said: “I’m not upset that the pub is closed again.

“What did upset me was seeing elderly people and people in wheelchairs having to go out on the road or cross the street to get by because patrons were outside smoking cigarettes.”

The only Hawick representative on the Board, Councillor David Paterson, said he was unable to comment on the decision for fear of prejudicing the appeal.