West Hampstead’s popular Czech Club forced to close beer garden after complaint exposes licence breach
- Credit: Harry Taylor
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 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.
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“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.
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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.