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Manbar Risks Closure by Westminster City Council

LONDON, March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --



Manbar, the iconic independent gay bar on Charing Cross Road will be forced to close if it loses a costly legal battle with Westminster City Council early in April. Political campaigner Peter Tatchell lends his support to Manbar.  

Invitation to celebrate the first same-sex marriage in the UK and support Manbar this Friday night. Manbar, 79 Charing Cross Road, Soho from 11.30pm March 28.  

Guests arriving at 12.45am include Peter Tatchell, Peter McGraith and David Cabreza (the first - or one of the first - same-sex marriages in the UK) who will marry at one minute past midnight this Friday, 28 March. 

Manbar is on the site of 79CXR, the legendary dance bar, which ran for eighteen years before being sold to gay entrepreneur Chris Amos, re-opening as Manbar in 2012.

     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140328/677852 )

Since opening, Manbar has surged in popularity, serving over 3000 customers a week and providing a unique and truly authentic gay space in central London.

However, repeated complaints from a resident living above the bar led to a licensing review last summer in which Westminster Council banned regulated entertainment (the playing of music) until such time as improvements were made.

Manbar has appealed and has continued to trade pending the appeal hearing, which comes before Westminster Magistrates on Monday 7th April 2014.

In the meantime, expert advice has led to extensive works being carried out to ensure that noise nuisance, however slight, does not take place. Council officials have been involved in measuring and testing, and have written to Manbar stating, "We are satisfied with the Sound Limiter setting, the sound limiter model and the way in which the system is now set up." However, senior officers at Westminster are insisting on pursuing the appeal.

So successful has Manbar been in solving the problem that council officials could not detect any noise in the complainant's flat.

Whilst Manbar has been advised that they should win, if they lose they face a legal bill of up to £60,000.

Chris Amos is seeking support both from the gay scene and the general public to help fight off Westminster City Council. Today the 'SAVE MANBAR' campaign is being launched. Full details at http://www.manbarsoho.com

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