Subside on Digbeth High Street. Photo: Google

City club to reopen despite drugs and weapons finds

A Birmingham rock bar is set to reopen after being closed when police found class A drugs and cash inside a safe.

Subside in Digbeth was temporarily closed earlier this month having had its music and alcohol licence suspended following a raid by West Midlands Police.

The police operation, which took place on January 31, also included a raid on a property on Leasow Drive, Edgbaston, where an "array of weapons" including knives and crossbows were found at the home of a suspected drug dealer operating out of the city centre rock bar.

However it now looks as though the venue will reopen, after the Subside Facebook page posted an update.

“We are pleased to announce that following numerous conversations between West Midlands Police and Subside Bar Ltd, and our representations to Birmingham City Council’s licensing sub-committee, we will be opening once again from today, albeit with special restrictions until the final hearing in a few weeks time,” a statement said.

“There will be increased searches and checks on ID so please make sure you carry ID if you think you may be asked as otherwise service may well be refused.

“Needless to say, here at Subside we have a ZERO tolerance towards drugs in the establishment and anyone found supplying, taking or carrying drugs in the venue will have the drugs confiscated and will be banned from the premises for life and may be prosecuted by the police.

“We would also like to thank all of our loyal customers for posts and messages of support over the last week and hope you can bear with us during this short period while we make Subside an even safer venue for the future.

“Your support and attendance during the next two weeks would be greatly appreciated and means a lot to us while we work to fulfil the necessary requirements to allow us to revert back to the hours of service you all know and love.”

A 41-year-old man from the latter address was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and firearms offences following the raid last week, and has been released under investigation.

Further details of the raids were revealed in the force’s application to Birmingham City Council for an expedited review of the premises licence which stated Subside was associated with "serious crime".

It said: “In the safe [at Subside] officers discovered significant quantities of different types of class A drugs, and a substantial amount of cash all together.

“The cash was in a black pouch next to the drugs, against the general cash which was in a different part of the safe."

Regarding the home address the police report revealed "more drugs were discovered as well as an array of weapons, including knives, crossbows and air weapons".

It also said documentation from the bar did not include any account of drugs being seized from customers or provide an explanation for the cash.

A diary was found with an entry from December 12 showing people had been evicted for dealing drugs but no entries were made about any drug seizures.

The council conducted a licensing hearing behind closed doors on February 3 due to the ongoing criminal investigation, where they chose to suspend the venue’s license.

However the venue will now be reopened with altered opening hours following yesterday’s hearing.