23 October 2009

Brewery Bar Latest

WHITSTABLE'S only late night venue has been shut down after part of a man's ear was bitten off in a brawl.

Another man was also injured in the fight at the Brewery Bar on the east quay at the harbour, allegedly involving a bouncer.

Police called for an emergency review of the venue's licence, citing additional concerns about drug use and poor security, and it was ordered to shut until a full hearing on November 9.

But bosses at the bar - owned by the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company - say they are determined to work with police to solve the problems.

Development manager James Green revealed all four doormen had been sacked.
He said: "To hear what happened was a bit of a shock. For that to happen is pretty horrendous really.

"I will change all door staff and I'm going to employ a firm from outside the area which will make ID checks and have a more stringent banning policy for people who cause trouble.

"Apparently the police have been quite unhappy with the doormen for a while so my only qualm with them is that they didn't come to me sooner because it was all news to me."

Members of the council's licensing committee decided to suspend the venue's licence until the full hearing, meaning it cannot sell alcohol or hold events with live music or dancing.

It can still sell food at the East Quay Restaurant in the same building.
Inspector Gordon Etheridge said: "We applied for this expedited review because of a mounting number of concerns about disorder at the premises.

"The suspension of the licence is an emergency measure which will allow us over the next three weeks to collate all the information and build a picture of the issues for the licensing committee.

"Hopefully the owners will accept and agree to work with us to help rectify some of the problems."

A 25-year-old man arrested in connection with the assault has been released on bail until December.

Anyone who witnessed the incident should contact Det Con Chris Kidd 01227 8682264.