Kingsbury bar loses alcohol licence for hosting parties during pandemic

Arista bar

Arista Bar - Credit: Brent Council

A Kingsbury business has lost its permission to sell alcohol after it reportedly continued to host parties with troupes of fully-costumed dancers throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns. 

Brent Council officers said the management at Arista Bar, in Church Lane, secretly opened up on several weekends during the past 18 months.

Residents complained that “dancers in full costume, along with an excess of 40 people” were often seen going into the bar at a time it should have been shut due to government restrictions.

A council report noted that on one occasion in June this year, a party carried on until 4.30am – despite its licence only running until 3am. 

Licensing officers put the licence up for review after the management, Maxus Data Ltd, failed to provide CCTV footage which might have dispelled residents’ complaints.

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A spokesperson said: “Not providing CCTV is as bad as it being provided and showing evidence of wrongdoings. 

“All premises need to be given a clear message that should they fail to provide CCTV footage, they run the risk of having their licence revoked.

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“Without this clear message, it leaves the licensing authority open to being taken advantage of by the premises, where they can get away with whatever they want.”

They added it is “unquestionable that the premises is unable to uphold [the] licensing objectives” based on its actions during the pandemic. 

The team at Maxus Data agreed to step aside from the bar and the licence will be handed back to its landlord. 

Chris Rees-Gay, the solicitor representing the management, said this was “not an admission of guilt” but represented a more effective use of the council’s time. 

He added it would give the bar the chance to be run by a new party, which would be subject to the current licence conditions. 

Council officers noted in cases such as these there is a risk the licence will find its way back to the previous directors but, in this instance, they are “100 per cent confident” this will not happen.

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