King’s Cross pub bows to resident pressure over late licence bid

�The new owners of a pub once notorious for wreaking drink-fuelled havoc on its neighbours have ditched plans to run near all-night parties.

The Star of Kings in York Way, King’s Cross, dumped its bid for a 4.30am licence on Fridays and Saturdays and 2.30am on Thursdays after opposition from residents.

The application was dropped ahead of a town hall licensing hearing on Monday – calming fears of a return to the “dark old days” when the venue housed the notorious Backpackers bar with clubs Bagleys and The Key nearby.


Rob Hives, director of owners Electric Star Limited, said: “We took everybody’s views into consideration and did what we felt was best for the community as well as for our business. I want to build up a relationship with the people in the area.

“Over time they will realise we’re not the venue they think we are.”

Dozens wrote to Islington Council complaining King’s Cross could once again be rife with “no-go areas and vomit-strewn streets”.

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One resident said their sanity would be threatened by sleepless nights and added: “This proposal will not only affect our lives, it will make life hell for my family and destroy us.”

Another recalled what they feared might happen again: “In the past, large numbers of revellers created havoc in York Way. They vomited, urinated, littered and generally caused a public nuisance every weekend.”

There were also worries the opening of the new Central Saint Martins university campus on the King’s Cross Central site opposite in September would create an influx of drunken students.

The Star of Kings, which opened in December and has a capacity of 400, will now stick with its 2am closing time on Fridays and Saturdays and midnight during the week.

Mike Sweeney, 55, a photojournalist who lives metres away in York Way, said: “I think it was a sensible decision for the club to make after the hostility from residents, but residents are still fuming that it will be able to hold 12 late-night events a year.

“It’s a venue in the wrong place at the wrong time and in the wrong environment.”