A Charlton bar has avoided being ordered to permanently close after a number of incidents less than a year after opening.
Hyatt Lounge is located amongst industrial units in lower Charlton and saw three violent incidents in three days in June including a large brawl and stabbing. A Licensing Committee meeting was called which heard a number of accusations from police and council.
A legal representative speaking for the Metropolitan Police, James Rankin, laid out a list of issues the police stated had occurred including the site being used by “rival gangs” with firearms brought onto the site.
Things culminated with three violent incident s on three days in June. Rankin stated that one saw a “one inch laceration above the eye” with “no calls made by the premises” to police.
He stated that reasons given by the business not to supply CCTV were “a lie” and that hard drives were replaced on 17th June ensuring no evidence could be obtained. Another incident saw one woman bitten on the breast and bruising to her head.
Since the June incidents others were mentioned such as on 1st of July when a man refused and started damaging cars in the vicinity. Then on 2nd July there was an assault by a doorman. A woman was throttled.
Met PC Mark Evans also stated the site was a base of gangs and that police intelligence stated they were bringing firearms on site. It had been stated in a report that the business had not supplied CCTV to police or met with them when requested.
Greenwich Council also highlighted numerous complaints and Cllr Jo van den Broek raised the “most enormous number of representations”.
Hyatt Lounge manager Gemma Ceamer defended the business stating they didn’t decline a meeting with police and that after an incident on 10th June they closed early while staff diffused the situation. It was recorded and people banned. She also highlighted they had switched to electric shish and have a metal detector.
Defending the company was Edward Grant, who works for Symphotech as noise management consultants. He stated their hard drive failed hence no data up to 17th to provide footage, yet there is separate CCTV system at entrance which is available to police.
He also stated that a rule on noise being measured one metre from a premises not lawful. Greenwich’s legal representative didn’t agree.
In defence, the manager of Hyatt Lounge also stated in terms of noise complaints that residents at one site (Trade Winds development in Newham) stated the business did respond to complaints.
Greenwich Cllr Matt Morrow asked whether the business was operating as a nightclub rather than restaurant? In response Creamer stated it wasn’t. People were taking drinks away from tables due to worries about date rape drugs.
They also stated that a license has recently been given for use of upstairs at the venue by Greenwich Council so previous noise issues couldn’t be that bad.
Cllr Joshua Ayodele asked about the business leaving windows open? They stated this was based on NHS guidance.
One thing no councillor raised was new homes being built nearby. They did raise numbers further away though the area will see change. Work is underway on new flats a short distance away:
The Committee decided after hearing both arguments to close the bar for one month and change the premises supervisor.
ID scanners are also required as well as at least one female member of door staff.