Star of Kings extended opening hours – resident comment

StarofkingsThe Star of Kings pub at 126 York Way is seeking to open until 0400 on Friday and Saturday nights. I wrote this issue up for the site with a long comment from the Star of Kings leaseholder Rob Hives.  The article also describes in detail how to comment on the application to the council.

I had spoken to Mike a local resident who is objecting and Mike has now sent in to me a long comment:

‘Hello Will,

first I would like to say well done on writing a very unbiased and informative article on the ‘Star of Kings Club’ and reference to the past bad and ugly history here residents have had to endure over the past 10 years now.

‘You hit the nail on the head in one sentence, when you commented on the Pub Premises, regarding the monstrous size of this building, situated in the heart of a fast developing residential area.  This Pub was successful in the early Backpacker Pub days associated with the Bagley’s Club nearby operating on Sundays, long before York Way Court and the New Private Flats situated at the junction of Copenhagen Street/York Way were developed.

‘It was an area of industrial land then.  But since 2000, when York Way Court families moved in, it quickly developed into a densely residential populated area.  The Backpacker Pub and Bagley’s Club, both failed to understand that this area had overnight, turned into a large residential area, and they failed to respect that critical fact, and continued to ignore the complaints of residents and continue as they had always done without adapting and making changes. This as you know, was their mistake/downfall and reason for in the end, moving out the area waved off by residents!

‘Residents voted that they no longer wished to have any association with any form of binge drinking Pubs or Clubs that closed late at night, causing loud noise pollution and other associated anti-social problems from intoxicated drinkers in groups.

‘For a Pub this size that boasts of holding over 400 persons inside and an outside street forecourt; is always going to cause problems late at night followed by complaints ongoing, has no place any longer in this residential Kings Cross area.  But a Pub like this cannot survive without having a late night licence to promote what they term nicely and camouflage as, ‘live entertainment and eating,’ which in fact, as we all know, is another term for ‘binge drinking,’ to fill up the Club and make money from getting customers to consume as much alcohol as they can. After that, we all know the story ending!

To return back to the old Backpacker Pub days, will cast an ugly shadow over the newly developed Kings Cross area.  Residents and local businesses do not want this.  We do not want to become another Club land area for binge drinking, Fly posting will sprout up, drunken revellers will be hanging around late at night in the small gardens area/Shopping parade on York Way, the Canal entrances, having sex, sleeping it off, being sick and urinating every place they can.  And when the newly opened University opens nearby, can you imagine all the young fresh students having to learn the rituals of binge drinking and drunkenness!  It will make Kings Cross/York Way/Copenhagen Street and other nearby areas an unsafe place to live and work.

‘Already their customers are taking their drinks outside the pub forecourt area onto the public pavements and along the side of the Pub in front of York Way, where family homes back on to, which the manager now calls their ‘new smoking area’ is completely unacceptable. This is a council pavement area – not a drinking extension forecourt area of the Pub?  Their licence does not cover this?  This really makes local residents angry and fuming.

‘It is so intimidating for residents, children, families, and the elderly to have to ask a crowd of drinkers to move aside when standing and drinking on the public pavement area, especially for ladies and young girls, it’s intimidating and puts fear into residents and passersby and we just do not want this.  It is unacceptable. We had all this with the Backpacker Pub and eventually they ended up with 14 pub security doormen staff to control this situation, i.e. public pavements and garden area in front of the shopping parade where they loitered.

‘Will, you know I can go on and on and on about the bad practises of this Star of Kings Pub.  I am aghast in the fact that they have alone, tried to increase their opening hours weekdays and weekends until 04.00hrs and Sunday’s until 02.00hrs.This shows they are out of touch with this community and local residents.  This is about them making profit from promoting their binge drinking activities.

‘If the Star of Kings Pub is allowed to increase their opening hours, then Kings Cross will be ‘stepping back into the past’ and for local residents, life will be unbearable and intolerable living here.  This must not be allowed to happen for the sake of common sense, decency and respect for residents of this area.  For private property owners, the prices of their properties will diminish greatly when persons find this is a Club land area of binge drinkers and noise pollution.

‘I have actually seen crowds of men aged between 20 to 45, approximately as many as 10 guys knocking on the Star of Kings Pub at 09.45 hrs on a Saturday morning to start drinking alcohol! Why are they serving alcohol at 09.00hrs in the mornings?  Are they working with other drinking establishments when they close to attract them to the Star of kings Pub to continue their drinking sessions?  Especially on sporting days.  This should not be allowed either.  Coffees and soft drinks I can understand.

‘Of course, I am affected by the noise pollution, living only a distance of 30 metres away looking directly on to this Pub and already have to put up with bad behaviour from drinkers attending the Star of Kings pub.  But I will be objecting because I love where I live, I love Kings Cross and what it is fast becoming.  I am proud to live and work here.

‘I strongly urge all residents reading this Post to object and stop this extended licence application for the benefit of this community and residential area.  If you don’t, life will never be the same here again.  No peace and quality of life, it will be destroyed and taken away from us.  Your support is needed.

Enough said.


Islington resident of York Way Court, N1.  (I have lived here for 11 years now)

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
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12 Responses to Star of Kings extended opening hours – resident comment

  1. Was it as bad for YWC folk during the Cross King’s days? I miss the comedy venue….

  2. janys Lomax says:

    Dear William

    I must just write in support of Mike here.

    You say you feel Rob Hives is sincere in what he says about wanting the pub to cater for people who live and work in the area and be an asset to the community.

    The facts are that this is still a music venue with a dance floor holding at least a few hundred people, with more space still in the basement. They are advertised all over the internet each week with their events listed on many sites.

    Tonight an event called “Vibrate” is advertised on View.London, which the site states runs from 10.00 pm tonight until 5.00 am Sunday morning. (They must have some very good temporary extended licences.)

    If Rob Hives is indeed sincere about catering for the community, then it can only be a small part of his main business.


  3. Will says:

    Why should the venue have to alter its activities? Residents moved in knowing there was a venue here which put on live music and club nights, and knowing that Kings Cross and York Way are not an area exactly known for their peace and quiet. It seems from what I have read that the owners are pretty responsible, but inevitably there will be some noise from people coming and going. I’m sure the numbers and disturbance involved will be well below the levels when there were more clubs in this area.

  4. Andrew says:

    Responding to Will’s comment (and please correct me if I am wrong)…..I think the point is that the venue is requesting permission to alter it’s activities, and part of the process is that anyone who could be impacted can comment, which is what is happening.

  5. janys Lomax says:

    In response to Will – The pub is in the midst of housing association flats. Families had very little, if any, choice in where they moved to. This is an excellent community and, when families moved here eleven years ago, it was to a very good new development in a fast improving area. It could be argued that the present leaseholder knew this when he took over last year and renamed the venue The Star of Kings. He took it over with a licence to open during certain hours. Now he has applied to extend that licence to allow all night activities every weekend. This residential area is not the right place to run an all nigh venue.

  6. Rob Hives says:

    I will reiterate again, that I would like to work with the community and in no way want to upset or cause disturbance to the people that live in the area around the pub.

    Since we opened, we have had several license extensions and have no complaints from local residents on any of these occasions.

    Just to clarify the license extension that has been applied for is until 2am on Thursdays and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.

    Rather than respond to every single comment on this website, I would like to invite people to come to The Star of Kings pub on Monday 18th July between 6pm and 8pm to discuss the license application in more detail.

    Free tea, coffee and soft drinks will be available.
    If this time doesn’t work for people, I am in the pub most days and more than happy to meet people on an individual basis. Alternatively people can phone or email me with specific questions.


    Rob Hives
    07932 869 705

  7. Mike Sweeney says:

    I am sorry Rob, due to work committments, I am unable to attend this meeting.
    We have had many meeting like this before from past landlords all promising good intentions at heart, that it is going to be a nice venue and it will benefit the local community. Then a few months later they proved us wrong! Every time!
    For a Club this size attracting upto 400 drinkers, it is always going to be a problem situated in a residential area.

    But in over 11 years of living here, can I add that most are families with children and hard working persons living towards the back and to both sides of your premises venue. Some residents live only 5 metres away behind your Pub/Club.
    I don’t think many residents actually ever went to the former Backpacker Pub, Cross Kings (a couple perhaps) to drink and eat. Its too expensive for many.

    For residents of this community, this monstrous drinking venue does not fit in to their lifestyles and never has.
    I have already complained about loud noise pollution and I know other residents have recently too.
    We have been very tolerant so far to let you settle in to the area. But now your late night opening hours are attracting resident complaints and well justified.
    Plus the fact that this Club is situated in he heart of a residential area of families and hard working people who have to get up early for work the next day. Even at weekends.
    Islington resident.

  8. Mike Sweeney says:

    Can I just make a remark on a comment made above in regards to: “Residents moved in knowing there was a venue here which put on live music and club nights, and knowing that Kings Cross and York Way are not an area exactly known for their peace and quiet.”
    I remember when I first moved in York Way Court in 2000 due to a job move. I viewed the flat, and as like many other home viewers of property, you are under a lot of pressure to accept the flat offered and sign there and then to take it. Otherwise someone in the queue behind you will accept it instead. Also one knows nothing about the new area that are moving into. It was completely new residential area where no one knew anyone at all.

    Due to the housing shortage today, you don’t have a lot of choice and have to take what you get offered. And for the more foreign fmilies, they will jump at the first chance to be offered a flat here. The main points of interest that made me live here was that in was in central london, close to work and in the heart of London transport by bus, rail and underground and nearby the canal that I like to exercise and jog along daily. It also depends on your experience and knowledge of moving homes. For many it will be their first time. Many have language problems being foreign.

    Since 2000 the area has developed into a large highly populated residential area with more flats opening soon nearby.
    Every day life changes and residential affordable properties became the priority for the Government than and still does. The Star of Kings Club is now in the wrong place at the wrong time. They need to adapt to the changes and interests of this local residential community.

    Local residents from whom I communicate with daily, accept their is a Pub/Club business here and we have all tolerated it when being open like a normal type of Pub and Restaurant, with acceptable opening hours till midnight weekdays and 02.00hrs on a Saturday and Sunday morning. Like the Cross Kings was – which was very much a friendly, managed family business.

    Accdepting affordable family homes should take takes every precident over whether you are situated near a late night drinking Pub/Club

    But commensense values and respect for residents, when campaigning against a Club holding upto 400 late night drinkers, coming from afar as Cities like Leeds, Sheffield and Leicester for example, being open until 04.00 or 05.00hrs weekdays and late Sunday nights in the heart of a residential area, is today completely unacceptable.
    However it was acceptable before 2000, when this building was situated in a wasteland/industrious area. But not today now that it has completely change into a densely populated residential area.

    In my personal opinion and view, his monstrous, huge Pub building, should to be better converted into resident homes/flats or office business for new starters.

    If I did a survey toady asking 100 persons “should a Night Club be open and operate in a denslely residential area until 05.00hrs, I genuinely would expect about 80% of persons would genuinely say NO! The others being Club Ravers perhaps!

    Residents simply don’t want to see a come back ‘CLUB LAND’ in this residential built area.
    Local resident

  9. Paul Convery says:

    This application for an extension of hours until 4am on weekends is quite wrong. The current licensee inherited an already permissive hours regime courtesy of the previous operator. This was opposed by residents at the time but their fears were (slightly) moderated because the previous operator ran a quirky but fairly low key food, drink and entertainment operation. The new proprietor is different. He is already beginning to squeeze the maximium from the existing hours and is causing inconvenience to the locality. Now he wants to stretch this to dawn at weekends. I find it very hard to understand how Rob Hives thinks he can “work with the community and in no way want to upset or cause disturbance”. His proposed hours of operation are simply incompatible with doing this.

  10. Mike Sweeney says:

    Good to see some other support there against this late night opening hours for the Star of Kings Club.

    I have evidence of Internet Reviews being displayed for Towns as far away as Sheffield, Nottingham and Leeds for example promoting the Star of Kings Club? Do they plan on laying on Bus Coaches and filling trains with customers with package deals from other Clubs to come here to drink until 04.00hrs or 05.00hrs for Partying and Club Raves?.

    Will the Council realize and understand that The Star of Kings Club backs onto a densely populated and developing residential area of families and hard working residents, where a late morning drinking Club does not benefit this local community, we don’t deserve this! Is this the Islington Council Licence Team’s vision for what they term, ‘Urban Regeneration?’

    In America, it is a gainst the law to drink alcohol outside in the street. They have government departments and regulations that show better values of protecting and caring about the Public. I think that’s great.

    Why are in fact are local residents never canvassed and interviewed when such a late night opening application for extended hours is made by any Club/Pub? Especially when the premises is situated so close to resident homes and in a densely puopulated area of families and hard working people?

    PLEASE NOTE: If you want to raise an OBJECTION against the Star of Kings Club late night opening hours application, please send your objection letter by EMAIL now with your name and adress on before the deadline date of 20th JULY to:
    email: Do it this weekend – do not delay.

    For any residents having pronblems about ‘late night loud noise,’ you can always make a complaint to the Islington Council Noise Pollution Team by telephoning them on: 020 7527 3229 They will go out and investigate the noise and record your complaint as official. They are very helpful.

    I saw on the news this morning how the local Council in Lewisham, really go out their way to help protect residents against such problems. If you have an iphone, you can take a picture, add some text and it goes direct to the local Council Dept to investigate. Its fast and quick. Check out their policy and practice on anti-social behaviour and community problems. Looks like this is a Council leading the way on such matters.

    Local Islington Resident

  11. Stuart Oswald says:

    I am a local resident too. And would just like to point out that we local residents should be more supportive of businesses investing in our area. The Star of Kings looks a lot better than previous establishments, you can tell a lot of money has been invested in it. Also, the area is in urban London, not outside the city in tranquil settings. However, I in principle do not agree with anyone causing a disturbance to anyone else. But I disagree with the premise of those arguing against this business. It would be far more beneficial for us to have a viable successful business amid us, rather than hounding it out and leaving the building in desolation (desolation is what happened to the “quirky but fairly low key food, drink and entertainment operation” that stood there previously and left the building in complete disrepair). It is also shameful that Paul Convery fails to engage a balanced view of the situation, and does not think about our immediate local economy at all. At the end of the day it would be much better to have this establishment in place (be it with inconvenient to some) than to have it blight the area like some of the neighbouring businesses do.

  12. Mike of York Way Court. (Situated 20 meteres away from Star of Kings Club). says:

    Hello Stuart, I appreciate your comment above.
    But last Sunday morning, a mother who’s family was awoken (as were other nearby residents from 20 metres away) by loud noise pollution caused by about 20 customers standing and loitering outside the Club premises, in the street on York Way, on a Sunday morning at 02.30hrs, caused this mother who has school children, to actually take the trouble go outside to the Club premises to take photos as evidence, risk her life in being attacked, because she is in a state of despair, frustration and at the end of her toleration levels. (She called me on the phone today to inform me of this). Nearly every weekend, like many other residents, she is disturbed by their Club drinking customers.

    There are many, many, many more residents just like her. Effected by the loud noise pollution and public disorder caused by drinkers coming to and from the Club, and leaving the Club in the early morning hours between midnight and 06.00hrs, when they have TEN Licences. The problem is outside the Club and not inside. This cannot be controlled. So you have to eliminate the source of the problem to deal with it.

    It is a Club situated in the wrong place, in the wrong environment at the wrong time, in a populated residential area.
    You are I would think, either not local or actually overlooking this Club premises directly, like the hundreds of other resident families who are.

    Directly opposite this Club’s front door, within the next year, you will see another 147 families moving in there, in new flats now being built today, many will be ‘vulnerable persons, disabled and elderly,’ I have been accurately informed. Would you like to see them suffer loud noise and public disorder every weekend caused by drunk customers coming to and leaving this premises, being awoken up? I certainly would not wish this upon anyone.

    Their venue will be better served and suited operating as a Pub/Restaurant business.
    One has to acknowledge the fact and evidence, that this area where the Night Club is situated, is a highly residential populated area. This venue within a year will be surrounded by resident homes on all sides!
    Now you will have young teenagers ‘away from home drinkers’ from the University adding to the problem who like to Party hard! These are even more uncontrollable.

    Clubs in residential populated areas, have never worked and never will. There will always be complaints and disturbances caused every weekend. Hard working residents with families don’t need this.
    All rsidents should have the right to a peaceful nights sleep and peace of quiet. (Tolerating other noise like traffic etc.) But unnecessary club noises can be controlled to improve the quality of life for local tax paying rsidents.

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