University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Brighton bar is forced to close

The Badger

ByThe Badger

Feb 1, 2011

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A popular bar in the centre of Brighton has been ordered to  close for a month, after 31 thefts occurred in under a year. Vavoom bar, in Old Steine, was forced to shut after a long line of incidents including children on site, cocaine found in the toilets, and staff under the influence of alcohol.

Brighton and Hove City Council also ordered a shake-up of its staff, after several complaints from Sussex Police and the council’s environment protection team. The bar, hailed as gay-friendly, closed at midnight on Sunday 23 January and will reopen in February without its former 24-hour licence.

Chair of the panel, Councillor Dee Simson said: “We were satisfied that the premises licence holder had been co-operating with the police and agreed to make a fresh start with new management.

“A break of four weeks will enable the necessary measures to be put in place.

“The panel did not think it was appropriate for this premises to continue with the 24 hour licence and restricted the hours for sale of alcohol from 10am to 11:30pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am to 1:30am Friday and Saturday.”

Another member of the panel, Green Councillor Pete West, criticised the bar and added that: “Vavoom’s license was reviewed by the panel in light of its appalling record on all counts.

“Bad management led to persistent and shocking problems, including assaults, unchallenged thefts, underage drinkers and alleged drug abuse on site.

“The crime and disorder arising from the bar meant that the police wanted to see this place closed down.”

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