Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Crown pub set to resume trading

The Crown has been given the go-ahead to resume trading

A historic pub owned by the National Trust in Belfast city centre has been given the go-ahead to resume trading after its licence to sell alcohol was renewed, according to an industry trade body.

The permit for the Crown Bar on Great Victoria Street lapsed due to an administrative oversight and the famous watering hole closed its doors last week.

A legal hearing scheduled for Friday was brought forward to today.

Colin Neill, chief executive of the Pubs of Ulster representative group, said: "This has no doubt been a difficult week for one of our most iconic pubs but we are glad to see that common sense has prevailed and the licence to sell alcohol has been granted.

"We hope the other pubs that have closed this week as a result of licensing issues will be given the same treatment and are dealt with as swiftly as possible."

Two other bars in Northern Ireland closed over licensing issues in the past week.

The Crown is one of the best-known pubs in Northern Ireland, once hosting US president Bill Clinton, and is distinguished by its period gas lighting, church-style stained glass windows, cosy wooden snugs and mosaics of tiles.

It was once a Victorian gin palace and dates back to the early days of the railways and industrialisation in the early 1800s.

The shutters were pulled down after a permit to sell alcohol was not renewed, believed to have expired in November 2012 following an "oversight".

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