Owner of Stratford's only night club defends bar under-fire - The Stratford Observer
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15th Aug, 2022

Owner of Stratford's only night club defends bar under-fire

THE OWNER of an under-fire night club in Stratford says he is doing everything possible to deal with concerns which threaten the future of the venue.safety and noise concerns

Issues over violence, drugs and noise have prompted Stratford District Council to review the licence of Shakespeare Street Cocktail Bar & Night Club – the town’s only remaining night club.

A damning council report said management of the venue, located at the junction of Birmingham Road and Shakespeare Street, had no control after CCTV appeared to show door staff ‘using dangerous levels of violence’ against a customer.

And traces of cocaine were found in the toilets – although the environmental health report stressed traces of illegal drugs were also found in other licensed premises in the town.

Further concerns were raised over excessive noise due to open doors, obstructed exits, obscured CCTV and lack of awareness of how many people were in the building at any one time.

Complaints from neighbouring residents claimed they were victims of ‘disrespectful and ‘erratic’ management.

One wrote: “It is miserable and disheartening. We have had to modify our lifestyles to cope with his business. Basically we can expect to endure disturbed weekends and no sleep till the small hours.”

Other complaints included anti-social behaviour, illegal parking, litter, and noise in the street after closing.

But owner Earl Withers told the Observer every effort had been made to tackle issues.

He said the door team was replaced the day after the incident captured on CCTV, although he understood they had been defending themselves after being attacked first.

And he added measures were in place to prevent drug taking including sloped toilet cisterns.

He added: “I can’t control it completely but we do what we can. We know who they are and keep them out and we do regular toilet checks, but the fact is some people are determined to do drugs.

“We have sound limiters which stop noise going above certain levels. We are allowed to have our doors open until 11pm. Like normal pubs we like to have our doors open on a summer evening.”

Mr Withers said it was not up to the club to stop people loitering in the street outside the venue.

He added: “This could be controlled with police and street pastors but there’s no authority in sight. What am I meant to do? I do ask them to move on and they say they will but they don’t.

“If you live in the town centre you should be able to accept a little bit of noise.”

The club was not without its supporters.

One regular quoted in the report said they had rarely witnessed any fighting and the doormen had always been respectful.

Mr Withers has also collected more than 200 signatures in support of the bar, which opens until 2am from Thursday to Saturday.

The district licencing committee will meet on Tuesday (August 20) to discuss the licence.

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