Pub pledges to fight for future

FALKIRK, Rialto, Vicar Street - picture of staff and regulars who get up petition to save the pub
FALKIRK, Rialto, Vicar Street - picture of staff and regulars who get up petition to save the pub

STAFF and regulars at a town centre pub hope it can be saved from closure.

Rialto in Falkirk town centre had its licence reviewed after several disturbances and it was discovered it had no CCTV cameras - contrary to the agreement.

Falkirk Council’s Licensing Board took the decision to restrict the bar’s licensing hours, meaning they can no longer serve alcohol after 10 p.m. Rialto, known for its band nights, also lost its live music licence at the meeting.

Manager Leda Sweeney said: “Everyone is really worried. We employ 12 staff and some have been in tears asking how they will pay their mortgage if we have to close.

‘‘The pub has a real community spirit, everyone knows each other and many have told us they’ll do what they can to help Rialto survive.

“We appreciate that we should have had CCTV cameras but didn’t realise this was part of the licensing agreement and, when it was pointed out, we installed them right away.

“At a time when jobs are being lost left, right and centre I hope we can work with the board to secure our future.”

Owner Colin Green said: “It couldn’t really have come at a worse time. We had just started our refurbishment, which is now on hold, and the trade in Falkirk has been suffering for a long time.

‘‘It would be devastating to the area to lose such a key venue for musicians and audiences.”

Councillor Malcolm Nicol, convenor of the licensing board said: “The police recommended the pub licence be suspended so, in actual fact, they were lucky. The board takes a hard line with anyone who flaunts regulations and we felt this was the best course of action after concerns were raised.”

The pub has started a Save Rialto petition on Facebook and staff are also gathering signatures.