Martin Rollings - otherwise known as Martin Freed - said it was “vital” to retain its licence, which is under review by Dorset Council after ‘Respect Weymouth’ lodged a noise complaint.
He said: “If they were to restrict hours, we'd end up closing down because people really come into this pub, in the evenings, for the music: no music would mean no pub.
“We'd have to close because we wouldn't make enough money to keep going, so it's vital our licence isn't modified in any way.”
The current licence permits music until 2am on some nights, yet all music could be banned at the pub should the complaint be successful.
A tipping point
Rollings said it would be a “devastating blow” for local business if the complaint was successful, particularly impacting the town’s vibrant music scene accumulated of “a hell of a lot of musicians.”
“If we go, we will just be the first of many”, he said.
He continued: “If we lose [our licence], other venues are going to be very nervous, and people will be very nervous about starting up new businesses in the area.”
If other venues were to lose their licence, it wouldn’t just mean musicians were unable to make money through gigs, but also that employed bar staff would be out of work which would be “terrible for the town”.
On the other hand, Rollings said if the Duke of Cornwall could keep its licence it would be “a victory for Weymouth”.
Face the music?
He said: “[The amount of signatures on the petition] says Weymouth overwhelmingly supports the Duke of Cornwall, and overwhelmingly supports live music.”
A spokesperson for Dorset Council, which has received an influx of emails in support of the pub, said: "The Licensing Team have received an application for review of the premises licence for the Duke of Cornwall from a Local Residents Group.
“The application is related to the Licensing Objectives of Prevention of Public Nuisance and the Protection of Children from Harm.
"There is no view from the Licensing Enforcement Team at this moment in time, as with all review processes there is a 28 day consultation period, following this the licensing sub-committee will read all evidence submitted and following the committee will make their decision on the outcome.
"The Licensing Enforcement Team may wish to submit a representation in support of the review application, as may any of the other Responsible Authorities."