What are you looking for?

10 June 2022 | Comment | Article by Martin Jones

What’s it like to operate a licensed business? Find out from Nick Saunders, Director of Depot and Co-Founder of Par59


As part of National Licensing Week, Leah Ellison, a Solicitor in our Regulatory team, spoke with Nick Saunders, Director of Depot and Co-Founder of Par59, about operating a licensed business.

As one of the directors of Depot and Par59 in both Bristol and Cardiff, how have you found the licensing process?

“As we’ve been operating in Cardiff since 2015, the licence application for our new site in 2020 wasn’t too bad as we have pre-historic relationships with the relevant local services.

In Bristol for our latest Par 59 venue it was slightly more challenging. Albeit planning for our venue had been granted, local residents had made representations against our premises licence application.

Working with Hugh James and Professor Roy Light from St John’s Chambers, we were able to satisfy the licensing sub-committee recommendations and the licence was granted.”

In your opinion, what is the most important thing to think about when making an application?

“Giving the local authority as much information as possible and making contact before putting in an application. It’s not always possible but you can get an early understanding of if you’ll be successful or not.”

What do you find most challenging about operating licensed premises?

“Finding suitable sites for our operations. There are more mixed use schemes these days which involve residents closer to licenced premises.”

What do you find most interesting about operating licensed premises?

“Creating somewhere people can socialise and enjoy themselves safely.

With the digital age we live in now and with the Pandemic over the last 2 years, people have missed out on memories and moments to socialise.”

The Hugh James Licensing team assisted in securing the premises licence for Par59, a golf-themed bar, in Cardiff. Par59 opened it’s doors to the public in March 2022. A second bar is due to follow in Bristol in the Autumn.

How can we help?

Whether you’re applying for a licence for the first time, looking to vary an existing licence, or transfer an existing licence, we can assist with any applications. Our licensing team are able to assist at all stages of the process from initial application to sub-committee hearing to appeal. Get in touch with our dedicated Licensing team, using the button below.

Author bio

As the Head of the Regulatory Department, Martin acts in a wide-range of regulatory crime and professional regulation matters. Martin has built up over 20 years of experience and a wealth of specialist knowledge.

He leads the firm’s cross-departmental alcohol and gaming licensing teams. Additionally Martin manages the teams providing a range of outsourced services to local authorities, including court representation of local authorities Adult and Children’s Services Departments.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

Contact one of our experts

Fill in the form and one of our experts will get in touch with you shortly.