Plan for 'topless' barmaids at Dover pub draws stiff response
A REQUEST to allow barmaids to pull pints "topless" at Dover's Castle Inn has prompted stiff opposition from the council.
District council licensing officers said they were going to keep a keen eye on the skimpy costumes provided for the bar staff at the Russell Street pub in case they breached "adult entertainment" guidelines.
They ruled too much movement from the employees could breach "performance of dance" licensing rules and demanded that tassels, even if used to cover their modesty, could not be twirled in a provocative manner.
This week it appeared a compromise was close, as landlord Paul McMullan, right, agreed to alter the topless specials on Friday and Saturday nights in favour of Bikini Beach nights. He told the Express: "Discussing the size of tassels that would need to be stuck on the girls and whether or not they would be allowed to move while pulling pints was one of the more bizarre conversations I have had with the council. It was like stepping back into the 1930s.
"When a girl reaches up to the optics clearly she is going to stretch and move – I suppose it is a form of dance, but when the council say the licence required costs £5,100, I can understand why they are being picky."
An adult entertainment venue licence issued by Dover District Council (DDC) costs £2,100 for the application and £3,000 a year thereafter, allowing lap and pole dancing and topless entertainment.
DDC's newly-appointed chief licensing officer John Newcombe said: "It is the view of the licensing authority that the provision of 'topless barmaids' falls under the definition of 'adult entertainment', and as such would require either a variation to your licence under the Licensing Act 2003 for the provision of adult entertainment or an application for a sexual entertainments venue Licence under the Local Government Act 1982.
"Either route would allow for proper consideration to be given to the safety of members of staff and the promotion of the four licensing objectives, in particular the protection of children from harm objective."
Police licensing officer Steve Alexander, who also carried out a personal inspection, promised a top to bottom probe.