“PUB owners have decided not to renew their licence for exotic dancing in a bid to get the community on their side.
Owners Steve and Christine Pantling thought it was time to call time on the strippers when it came to renewing their licence at The Olde Northwood Pub, in Pinner Road, for the 14th year.
The decision comes a year after a legislation change forced the Northwood pub and others like it to apply for a Sex Establishment Licence, instead of the previous Entertainment Licence with consent for striptease.
They had operated as a lapdancing pub for 12 years before the change in the law but the new licence gave people in the community the chance to object for the first time.
And object they did, despite no incidents of crime or anti-social behaviour linked to the pub since exotic dancing was introduced in 2000.
Mrs Pantling said: “We always used to send off to renew our licence and got it, no problem.
“When this new licence came up we had this grief that came with it. We had never had any complaints, so I was surprised by the objections.
“Because all of a sudden it had ‘sex’ in the title, people started questioning it, and I think a lot of people got the wrong idea.
“The thoughts you have about it are very different to the reality.”
The Pantlings chose not to renew their licence this year, anticipating the same level of objection.
Mr Pantling said: “I decided to turn it into a normal pub. If there’s enough local people against it then it isn’t worth it.”
The pub stopped operating as a strip joint on June 21 and since then the couple have lengthened the opening hours and now offer a bigger food menu, in a bid to attract a different clientele.
“It has been slow,” Mrs Pantling said. “We have got a few customers that are friends now and they are going to come along and support us, but a lot of our customers won’t be back.
“I would hope that the people who objected will now come in and see us as a normal pub.”