Bar has licence suspended after street brawls and Covid breaches

Kassaba Turkish Grill and Meze in Clacton has had its licence suspended following street brawls and Covid breaches.

Kassaba Turkish Grill and Meze in Clacton has had its licence suspended following street brawls and Covid breaches. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

A Clacton nightspot has had its licence suspended after police were called to numerous fights where bottles and furniture were used as weapons, underage drinking and a lack of social distancing.

Kassaba Turkish Grill and Meze, on Marine Parade East, was reviewed by Tendring District Council’s (TDC) licensing sub-committee following a request by Essex Police.

The restaurant and bar, which reopened in July after initial coronavirus restrictions ended, has had a ‘catalogue of concerns’ involving fighting, food hygiene and a lack of social distancing. It has now had its licence suspended for three months.

A hearing on Wednesday, November 4 was told how police had been called to break up fights outside the venue multiple times since it reopened.

Some of the fights included large numbers of brawlers, and on occasion bottles and furniture were used as weapons.

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Officers also encountered an underage drinker who had been in the nightspot, and witnessed a lack of social distancing.

In its report to the committee, Essex Police said: “The issues caused as a direct result of poor management of the Kassaba are having a deep and wide-reaching impact on the local community. Such instances have direct effects on the local economy and the reputation of Clacton as a destination, as well as a direct, personal effect on those living and working nearby.”

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Environmental Health Officers from TDC also found a number of serious cleanliness issues in the kitchen and stores of the venue during an inspection.

Committee members also heard representations from Giesha Ltd, which holds the licence for Kassaba, who said they had appropriate measures in place and had complied with Covid restrictions inside the restaurant.

The owner added that the venue could not be held responsible for what happened on the street outside.

After considering the evidence, the sub-committee ruled yesterday that Kassaba’s licence would be suspended for three months due to breaches of the licensing objectives around preventing crime and disorder, and public nuisance.

Val Guglielmi, who chaired the sub-committee, said the decision was necessary to protect the public.

“We will not accept this sort of behaviour on our streets, and licensed premises have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent it both inside their venues and in the immediate vicinity,” she said.

“The number and severity of the incidents encountered at Kassaba led to our decision to suspend the licence.”

Chief Inspector Martin Richards, Acting Tendring District Commander for Essex Police, said that Kassaba was taking police resources away from other work.

Speaking after the sub-committee’s conclusion Chief Inspector Richards added: “I welcome this decision as it shows we will not tolerate disorder in our district.

“Licence holders have a duty to put measures in place to stop this behaviour happening, which is both a danger to the public and a burden on our resources.”

Additional conditions were also added to the venue’s licence for when it reopens, including a requirement to install CCTV, have Security Industry Authority (SIA) qualified door staff, use plastic glasses late at night, not play music outside, and revised hours of operation.

The venue has 21 days to appeal against the committee’s decision.

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