The owners of a well-known Jesmond hotel have applied for a new licence that would see them open a high-end whisky lounge.
Applicants Jagdev and Kiran Venayak, owners of the Osborne Hotel on Osborne Road, applied for permission to allow them to trade to the general public in a “predominantly seated environment”. The licence would allow alcohol to be sold to the general public between 11am and 11pm.
A licensing hearing on Monday heard that there had been three objections from local residents, although none attended the hearing itself. Furthermore, councillors were told that there had been no objections from “responsible authorities” including the police and environmental health.
Speaking at the hearing, the applicant’s agent Matt Foster said: “The applicants have operated the hotel for over 30 years. The application seeks to allow residents to drink in the area.
“We want to be more of a lounge environment than a bar. It will probably look more like a restaurant without food, because everybody will be sitting down.
“The idea is people come in and get a taste of whiskies that aren’t available elsewhere – from around the world, from small batches, experimental whiskies manufactured in different conditions – things that you can’t generally pick up in supermarkets.”
Mr Foster explained that staff would be trained to explain the process behind the creation of whisky as well as what tasting notes customers should look out for.
Consultant Ben Botham added: “We’re not aiming at students. We would say maybe people at around 25, but mainly 30 upwards is the crowd who would enjoy it more than the younger ones.
“There will be no sport on screens, no loud music, no draft beers or cocktails or drink offers.”
Following the submissions made by the applicant’s representatives, the committee retired to consider its verdict. A decision will be announced within the next five days.