BAR bosses are biting back after rumours they had shut up shop for good.
When Bar Justice closed for six weeks, everything from flooding to money laundering was circulated as the reason why.
But owner Sean Maddison has today said he was in fact in the process of taking over sole ownership of the Sunniside bar from former partner Simon Sloane.
While contracts were exchanged, the bar remained closed, but now its staff are keen to stress the venue is back in business.
Manageress Fiona Tench said: “There have been massive Chinese whispers, everything you can think of.
“People have just jumped to conclusions.”
To mark a new chapter at Bar Justice, it is being relaunched with new additions for punters.
The biggest change is that it has teamed up with David Gill, from Juniper’s Pantry, in Barnes, who will be cooking up British tapas in the venue’s kitchen.
“There has definitely been a dip in trade in this side of the city centre,” said Fiona. “But we want to do something different that will draw people in.
“With the new Travelodge being built, there’s more interest in this area and people have expressed an interest in opening bars around here.
“We wouldn’t see that as competition.
“We’d love for four or five bars to open here to create a pub route.”
David’s new additions will include British classics such as Welsh rarebit, pan-fried black pudding and crackled rare breed Tamworth pork belly with apple chutney.
He said: “It’s a question of offering what’s right, what would work here.
“It will be very much sharing food, but also stylish food for a stylish place.
“It will be of a tapas style, but using the best of British ingredients.
“It will be a more upmarket version of foods we sell at Juniper’s.”
The new menu will be available at the bar from August 14, with other new additions including live music on Friday nights and a new cocktail menu from September.
A function room upstairs will also be available for private parties and hospitality.
l Bar Justice relaunches tonight with sample canapés and live music from The Source.