Titillation goes on the menu at Falkirk’s BTW

FALKIRK. BTW, Behind The Wall.
FALKIRK. BTW, Behind The Wall.

Burlesque nights, buff butlers and lingerie parties could become a regular part of the Falkirk night scene.

Popular nightspot Behind the Wall got the thumbs up from Falkirk Council’s licensing board for the bawdy events, allowing it to go ahead with its plans to host stag and hen nights, adult comedians and sexy cheerleaders performing routines

Entertainment at the Melville Street pub is also now likely to include bare chested “cheeky butlers” serving drinks, kiss-o-grams, burlesque and lingerie shows.

A lawyer for pub owner Brian Flynn described it as ‘innocent good fun’

But objectors claimed it would attract the wrong type of people to Falkirk town centre, lead to increased rowdiness and damage Falkirk’s reputation.

Behind the Wall’s application led to a three-hour discussion at last Wednesday’s licensing board meeting about what constituted ‘adult entertainment’ and what could be allowed.

Andrew Thomson, the pub’s lawyer told members of the licensing board that the type of entertainment Behind the Wall wanted to provide, and in some cases had already put on, did not come under the description of ‘adult entertainment’

“This is innocent good fun,” he said, adding that the pub had been following advice from the licensing standards officer and was attempting to be open and above board.

The board heard that Behind the Wall wanted to extend its licensed hours to allow it to open at 11 a.m. on Sundays and to stay open until 1 a.m. on Thursday and Sunday nights.

But councillors were told that this, coupled with the proposed events, had raised concerns in the community.

Thomas Brown expressed his fears that the events could lead to public disorder.

He said that while he accepted Behind the Wall was a very well run and established pub, introducing certain events could attract “different types” of people to the town and increased chances of public disorder when the events finished.

Mr Brown said he was also worried that the early Sunday morning start would clash with church services and put added pressure on town centre car parks.

Another objector said she feared Falkirk was going down the road of promoting “sexual activities fuelled by longer alcohol hours”.

There was also concern from councillors.

Reference was made to the possibility of the pub hosting Ann Summers parties.

The SNP’s Georgie Thomson said: “How can you say that an Ann Summers party is not adult entertainment? Ann Summers parties are about more than just clothes.”

Mr Thomson assured the councillor that the parties would be more like fashion shows featuring lingerie and would only be displaying clothes and would not include other products sold by the brand.

The lawyer said: “The cheeky butlers are well-toned young men who are there on ticketed-only ladies nights, but they are well attired and it is only their chest on show.

“In the burlesque events, there’s no striptease, no nudity.”

Mr Flynn said that his premises was only responding to customer demand and trying to bring new things to the area.

After almost three hours, licensing board convener Councillor Malcolm Nicol told Mr Flynn that the board was uneasy about some parts of the application.

It was agreed that the Behind the Wall be allowed to hold “fashion shows featuring lingerie” only in the upstairs part of the premises, removing reference to Ann Summers, and that there would be no nudity at the other events.

This week, Mr Flynn said: “I was happy with what happened and I think that we got mostly what we wanted.

“One of the main reasons for going to the board was for clarity and guidance. We have been approached to hold these kind of events and we wanted to be open and upfront and find out if we could.

“A lot of it I think came down to individual opinions, but I think the board were mainly very supportive.

“We now have a much clearer idea about where we stand and we’ll know what to do if we are approached in the future about holding these kind of events.“

Behind the Wall’s request to open at 11 a.m. on Sundays was approved, but councillors refused permission on staying open to 1 a.m. on Thursdays.

The pub withdrew its request to stay open late on Sundays.