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Muswell Hill bar fights to stay open following shooting incident

PUBLISHED: 06:04 02 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 02 March 2017

The Socialite Bar, where the alleged assault happened (Pic: Google Street View)

The Socialite Bar, where the alleged assault happened (Pic: Google Street View)

Archant

The licence holder of a club in Muswell Hill at the centre of violence allegations is appealing a decision by Haringey Council which could see it close for good.

Bryan John, who runs the Socialite Bar in Muswell Hill Broadway, is fighting the decision to have its licence revoked after a police review followed an alleged shooting incident outside the nightclub in November last year.

The bar can continue to sell alcohol and keep its Friday and Saturday opening hours until 3.30am until July when the appeal will be heard at Highbury Magistrates Court.

The club came under the spotlight in January after a stabbing incident outside the premises and the neighbouring Metropolitan Bar which saw four men taken to hospital. The club was closed at the time.

Mr John said: “We’re appealing the council’s decision because the club has a really good reputation but we do need more police in the area as I agree there’s a lot of trouble around here.

“Apart from one incident that has happened all other incidents that happen are now piled on to us but understandably the residents see the club as a whole as being the problem which is unfortunate. I completely understand why they feel that way. We’d rather it wasn’t like that.

“We are extremely careful that we only appeal to the right type of people with our door policy. We’re not about making money, we’re about people’s safety.”

The decision to revoke Socialite Bar’s licence was taken following a review by the Metropolitan Police, fully supported by the council and local residents.

John Hadju, chairman of the Muswell Hill Fortis Green Association, and former chairman of Haringey Magistrates licensing committee, said: “We have had problems with various nightclubs for many years so this is not a new problem.

“Unfortunately all these bars are destination bars with people coming from far away. The police have always been very strict, the difficultly is they can never predict when these events will happen.

“These clubs should be responsible for events inside and outside their bars and unless management takes this extremely seriously events can escalate and it doesn’t look good for the nightclub.

The licence was taken away from the Socialite Bar for a good reason. If they are still operating they have almost a probational four months to prove they have turned a page.”

Cllr Peray Ahmet, cabinet member for environment, at Haringey Council, said: “We are taking the toughest action possible against Socialite Bar. The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our priority and we will not turn a blind eye to incidents that put them at risk. We will take action against any premises that we, and the police, find to be a constant problem for our residents.”


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