Ex-Nabarros partner secures late licence for West End bar

Former Nabarro Nathanson partner Paul Kohler is behind a scheme that has turned a disused West End public toilet into a bar.

Kohler, a former head of best practice at Nabarros and a law lecturer at various universities, including Oxford, moonlighted as a singer in a punk band in the late 1970s known as The Gotham City Swing Bang. Kohler is also a director at Babylon Bars and is the entrepreneur behind the new bar, named Cellar Door.

Babylon called on Davenport Lyons regulatory partner Alun Thomas to help with the licensing application, as the new bar’s location came within the West End Stress Area, where Westminster City Council seeks to restrict new licenses to 11.30pm. Thomas was successful in obtaining a licence until 1am for the New York-style jazz café, which is located near the corner of Aldwych and the Strand.

Thomas had been working on the licensing application since early 2006.

Kohler said: “Thomas, with a mixture of charm and steel, was able to persuade Westminster’s licensing committee of the virtues of opening a tiny jazz café in this location.”

The bar opened last Tuesday (23 January).