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West Hampstead’s popular Czech Club forced to close beer garden after complaint exposes licence breach

PUBLISHED: 09:30 04 August 2018

The Czech Club in West Hampstead

The Czech Club in West Hampstead

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The Czechoslovak Restaurant and Bar in West Hampstead has been forced to close its beer garden – after it emerged the pub’s licence actually prohibited alcohol consumption outside.

The Czech Club in West HampsteadThe Czech Club in West Hampstead

The venue, known by locals as the Czech Club, has been operating in the area for over half a century, but it took a noise complaint from neighbours for the council to discover its beer garden shouldn’t be allowed.

As a result, drinkers will be unable to enjoy the remainder of the summer sun with a pilsner as the garden will be closed until further notice, pending a new licensing application from the bar’s owners.

The manager of the Czech Club, Dusan Veruzab. told the Ham&High: “We were told to close the garden by the council, and hope to be able to re-open soon.

“We understand this was because of noise complaints.

“The rest of the building – the bar, the meeting rooms, the restaurant – is open as normal.”

Mr Veruzab confirmed he were hoping to be able to re-open the garden soon but said he could not comment further pending advice from solicitors.

A spokesperson for Camden Council said: “The bar has a condition in its licence which prohibits alcohol in the garden. We have advised it that it can apply for a variation in its licence to have this condition removed.”

Kyle Harrison, 26, lives around the corner from the bar drinks there regularly. He told this newspaper: “I went in there with my housemate on Thursday and we were shocked to see the beer garden locked up. It’s the sort of place that is a bit different to the other bars and pubs in the area – it’s a bit more old-school and has a great community feel.

“And there just isn’t as much going on at the southern end of West End Lane either. Losing the beer garden would be a massive shame, and as the pub is so historic, it’d be sad if that was harmed at all.”

The Czech Club began life as a meeting place for the Czechoslovak community in London after the Second World War, before catering to expats.

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