By Angela Frewin
Bolton restaurateurs and hoteliers have joined forces in an attempt to woo back evening customers who have been frightened off by crowds of pub-crawling youngsters.
While better street security means drink-fuelled violence and car damage is less serious than five years ago, Michael Harrison, proprietor of Michael's restaurant off the pub-packed Bradshawgate, says he has still been forced to install half-level shelf displays to prevent drinkers using his restaurant window as a toilet.
Staff at Michael's and the local Pierre Victoire restaurant have now got together with other restaurants in the town centre, including La Tasca, Tiggi's, Guilio's and the new Chicago Rock Café, in a campaign to lure the diners back.
The Noble House hotel, the Bolton Moat House and the Octagon theatre are also joining the initiative, dubbed Bolton on a Plate.
Their council-backed brochure introduces a loyalty card scheme offering free wine after five evening visits and a monthly prize draw for a night out in Bolton.
Also in the pipeline is a quarterly newsletter, and a scheme to let customers leave their cars overnight at a nearby manned car park and get a taxi home, free of charge.
- Daniel Thwaites Brewery has won a licence appeal for a food-led café-bar in Bolton. It is the sixth licence to be granted in the past year, despite magistrates questioning the need for more licensed premises (Caterer, 20 February 1997, page 7).