Bawtry speak-easy gets green light - despite nudity, prostitution and trafficking concerns

James Herrington.
James Herrington.

Despite concerns including prostitution, trafficking and nudity, a Doncaster barbershop-cum-speak-easy style bar has been given the go-ahead to allow under 18s on the premises.

The Gentleman’s Retreat based in Bawtry was previously granted a licence to extend into a tattoo parlour and bar where burlesque, poker and over 18s films would take place - but Doncaster Council made it subject to the condition that no children would be allowed in.

Business owner James Herrington applied for a variation to the licence. Speaking on his behalf to the Licensing Sub-Committee on Wednesday, solicitor Christopher Grunert said: “The premises run as a gentleman’s barbers so to exclude under 18s is excessive.

“Whenever adult entertainment is offered under 18s will be excluded completely from the premises, there is no intention to expose under 18s to anything they shouldn’t be. This is meant to be a place for pampering and a spa for gentlemen.”

He added that excluding youngsters would also mean they could no longer run its apprenticeship scheme.

Objector Jonathan Redden said he was worried about possible nudity and that women employed would be trafficked: “We are getting into a society where the misogny towards women, and women being used as toys is normal. It drips that type of culture.”

He also said that many people connected burlesque with prostitution.

The committee was happy with the applicant’s subsmissions and gave the green light.