Tourists toast Crown Bar reopening

Tourists toast Crown Bar reopening

Belfast's Crown Bar has reopened for business after an issue over its licence to sell alcohol was resolved.

The bar, a popular location for tourists which is owned by the National Trust, had to close its doors at the end of last week - due to what staff described as "minor licensing complications".Its licence had expired in November 2012 but, following a court hearing on Wednesday afternoon, the world-famous gates have opened once again.Tourists who stopped by the city's famous drinking establishment on Thursday welcomed the news.Claire, who lives in Seattle, said: "I was told it was closed just before I got here so that was a bit of a pity. But I had heard it was a historic landmark. It's gorgeous."Mark said: "This came as a bit of a shock because it's the type of place you don't expect to be closed because it's such a fixture in Belfast, big with tourists as well, so it's the kind of place you want to see open."The Crown Bar had been closed for almost a week after it emerged that its licence to serve alcohol had expired with operators of the bar blaming an administrative error.The courts have now granted it a new licence.Colin Neill from industry body Pubs of Ulster said: "I think this was just an honest oversight. There's a five-year renewal of licence, nobody writes to them to tell them and people are so busy running their businesses that they just miss the paperwork."We are aware of another four pubs affected by this at the moment and I think more will come to light so we're working hard to get those resolved and get them back up and running."


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