If you pop into The Limes Hotel for a quiet dinner you will now be trusted with a real glass for the first time in four years.
Mid Suffolk’s Licensing Committee has finally decided that restrictions imposed on former management in 2014 on the High Street, Needham Market, hotel’s licence can be lifted to give the new mangers a chance to grow the business.
Under the old licence the hotel had to use shatterproof polycarbonate ‘glasses’ throughout the premises after 8pm and they were required to have door staff at every event held in the function room, regardless of what it was.
Cllr Wendy Marchant, who supported the change and lives near the hotel, said: “If they’ve got, say, a Royal British Legion dinner they shouldn’t have to have plastic glasses and door staff.
“Since it reopened and had these new managers, they seem to be trying to get it back on track and they’re doing well – it’s a lovely place.”
Helen Baldry, who is joint manager with her partner Robert Read, said councillors and licensing officials had been supportive.
She added: “We had to use polycarbonate containers instead of glasses after 8pm throughout the hotel. When people came in for an evening meal, the restrictions weren’t necessary.
“With regard to the function room, we were just asking to be allowed to make a risk assessment. If you have a regimental dinner you don’t need door staff and plastic containers to drink from, if it’s an 18th birthday party, it might be an idea.”
It hindered their efforts to rejuvenate the hotel, which has been redecorated and has new carpets and furniture.
Ms Baldry said: “We’re building the trade back up and getting people back in.”
Though some neighbours objected to the new management being given the chance, others, including Sylvia Watson, wrote to the committee in support.
Mrs Watson argued: “There is no indication of any cause for concern with the current managers and it seems inappropriate that the restrictions imposed on the previous manager, because of alleged problems with disorder, should continue to be maintained.”