ENTREPRENEURS behind a proposed real ale, lager and cider bottle shop and micro pub have pledged to ensure local residents and other businesses are respected by its customers, after lodging plans to open the venture for 69 hours a week.

Planning documents submitted to Darlington Borough Council for a grade II listed 18th century two-storey property beside Heaven Scent florists in Bondgate, Darlington, state Crafty Merlin’s would aim to sell locally brewed drinks and coffee to customers in bar settings alongside shop areas on both floors.

Alongside the bottle shop will be an online service where non-local customers can be supplied with bottles and cans as single purchases, mixed boxes and gift packs through delivery or pick-up.

The documents state the bar would feature low level easy listening music or live solo acoustic performances for a maximum of 25 people under social distancing conditions and 55 people afterwards. The papers state: “Notices will be displayed to ask customers to be quiet and respectful when leaving the property. The rule will be displayed on entry and exit. We aim to work with the police, local council and other drinking establishments in the area to ensure local residents and other businesses are respected.”