'Burnley's biggest ever mistake' – Owner of long-standing town centre takeaway demands 24-hour alcohol re-think

The owner of one of Burnley's oldest takeaways is calling on councillors to "do the right thing" and rein in early morning drinking.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 3:59 pm
Bibi's, lower St James' Street, Burnley.

The owner of one of Burnley’s oldest takeaways is calling on councillors to “do the right thing” and rein in early morning drinking.

Mansour Rostampour, who opened Bibi’s takeaway in 1985, believes it is vital for the future of the town that changes around licensing are made.

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During his 36 years serving Burnley’s night-time revellers, he said he’d never seen the centre so depressingly empty – and his once thriving business was suffering the effects.

“We used to have two sets of customers. We had the older crowd – the 30s to overs 50s – coming in from 7 until 10pm. Then after that we would have the nightclub crowd until around 2/3am. This was really good business. Town was buzzing.

“We would shut at 3am, and the streets would be nice and quiet. Everybody was at home after a good night out.

“Now everything is a mess. People are coming out later and later. We open until 4am now, but even then Friday and Saturdays are nowhere near as busy as they used to be. I would need to keep my staff on until 6am, and I don’t want to do that. It’s not fair on them.”

Thursdays and Sundays have "completely gone" according to Mansour, who lays the blame squarely at the feet of the people who advocated late-night licensing.

“The 24-hour licensing has ruined town. Everybody can see that. It’s so upsetting to see. 24-hour drinking might work in London, Manchester, Liverpool, those types of places, because people come out earlier. In Burnley they’re coming out at midnight, even later.

“The knock-on effect for businesses around the town...it’s terrible. The local authority needs to change it, and they need to change it soon.

“It is the biggest mistake this town has ever made.

“I’ve been campaigning against it for years but nobody has been listening. Why would you want anybody out in your town drinking at 8am? We need to try and get back to how it was.

“Something needs to be done. We have to change the hours.”

Lockdown restrictions have meant Mansour has had to turn to deliveries in order to keep Bibi’s going.

He said it wasn’t ideal but he was doing it for his staff.

“A lot of my staff are part-time, but I wanted to make sure they carried on having work.

“We’re looking forward to re-opening soon, and hopefully we’ll have lots of customers coming through the door.”