A bar in Woolwich’s Royal Arsenal has been allowed to stay open for another hour – but more change could be on the way with plans for it to expand into a neighbouring building.
Salt Craft & Pizza on Major Draper Square, the former Hop Stuff Taproom, has been given permission to stay open to 1am on Friday and Saturday nights and midnight the rest of the week.
The Yorkshire-based company bought the Taproom from the brewing giant Molson Coors in 2021, along with its sister bar in Deptford. Molson Coors had taken on the site two years before after the collapse of the Hop Stuff brewery, which had been founded on the Arsenal but ran into difficulties after expanding.
The plans submitted to Greenwich Council show the bar expanding into vacant commercial units next door that lead into the Windsor Square development of new homes, taking over one unit in the covered arcade.
They show the current bar area being replaced by coffee and pizza counters, with an expanded bar moving into the other units along with a games area with shuffleboard and pool tables.
Permission for the area to be turned into a bar was given in 2019, and Greenwich planners are being asked to sign off the details. Salt, which said it was unable to comment on the new plans, would have to apply for a new premises licence before any expanded bar could open.
At Thursday night’s licensing meeting for the current premises, Salt director Sami Foster said the Woolwich bar was “an important and successful site” for the company, which mostly runs bars in and around Leeds. She said that the current manager, Dawn Howard, had “turned the site around after its questionable past”.
The licensing extension faced opposition from some neighbours who complained about noise and people urinating in the courtyard. Foster said that the lack of toilets in the nearby Elizabeth Line station was more likely to be a factor.
Amanda Elson, who lives close to the bar, said: “Even though I’m inside the apartment I can hear people chatting in the courtyard. I get that, we don’t live in the Cotswolds, we live in southeast London. But when we bought the place from Berkeley Homes we were told nothing would be open beyond 11 o’clock. One o’clock does seem quite late.”
But Elson added that many issues had come under the bar’s previous owners.
Another resident, Cristyn Sharkey, said she appreciated the venue as a family-friendly bar that she and her husband could visit after working late shifts. “ It’s not somewhere that has banging music and I think the measures proposed tonight are fair,” she said.
David Gardner, the committee chair, said: “There may be wider issues we need to engage with Berkeley Homes about because we can’t hold this small establishment responsible for anything that happens within the square.”
The committee announced on Monday that it had approved the licence extension, with Salt required to hold twice-yearly meetings with neighbours, operate CCTV outside and close the outdoor area by 10pm.
Details of Salt’s plans for the Royal Arsenal’s Building 10 can be found on the Greenwich Council planning website.