John Harris

Journalist & Author

End of the party: how police and councils are calling time on Britain’s nightlife

From London’s Vibe Bar to the Arches in Glasgow, some of the UK’s most popular bars and clubs are closing in the face of ever-more stringent licensing rules – but the entrepreneurs behind them won’t go down without a fight

“It started two years ago. We’d been in business two decades, working with planners, licensing authorities, and the police. But then all these weird things started happening.”

Alan Miller, a 44-year-old serial entrepreneur and devoted lover of London, is sitting in the Blues Kitchen, a luxurious deep south-themed bar and restaurant in Shoreditch. Around us, people are starting to congregate in readiness for a night out, and the early-evening air is abuzz with the sense of quiet excitement that tends to arrive in British cities in the summer. In the surrounding streets, gaggles of people are drinking outside, and viewed from a certain angle, the scene might look idyllic: proof, perhaps, that the UK is at last embracing the continental ways that have long been said to be beyond our national grasp.

Related: Fabric nightclub holds on to licence – but must pay for sniffer dogs

Related: Council restrictions are killing UK’s nightlife, say club owners

Related: The Arches in Glasgow is the Hampden Park of nightclubs – shut it and Scottish arts will suffer

Related: Club culture: a guide to Manchester’s nightlife – by Krystal Klear

Related: Sniffer dogs and breath tests put the squeeze on London club culture

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