Barking shisha bar shut down for repeatedly breaking coronavirus rules
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 October 2020
A shisha bar in Barking has been shut down after it “continuously” broke the government’s coronavirus rules.
Kaafi Studio Lounge in River Road was forced by the council to close for two weeks.
The venue cannot reopen until 7pm on Thursday, October 15, unless “significant improvements” are made.
The bar and lounge was issued a prohibition notice on May 1 after the council received numerous reports it had been trading when it should have been closed during lockdown.
Council enforcement officers visited the venue about 3am on Saturday, August 8 following a noise complaint, but were declined entry to what was evidently a party.
However, the officers saw about 200 people leaving the venue after the event had been closed down by the manager Yahye Ahmed.
Following this, the council’s trading standards officers visited Mr Ahmed and carried out a risk assessment on the premises.
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They asked him to implement a number of risk-mitigating measures, including reducing the number of people in the main room and in the outside area.
Enforcement officers then visited the premises again at 2am on Saturday, September 26, as part of a series of late-night weekend visits to hospitality establishments.
They observed the venue openly trading when it should have been closed by 10pm, as required by the curfew regulations.
Officers were again refused access to the venue but saw more than 100 people leave during two visits, which indicated the venue was seriously overcrowded.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, who is cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “We have made it very clear to all businesses that we will not stand for them putting our residents’ safety at risk.
“We will use all use all the powers at our disposal to deal with businesses putting profits before people and will close them down if they do not follow the rules.
“This business has continuously flouted the rules and it is only right that they have been temporarily closed down.
“To other businesses thinking of not playing ball, don’t, as the council will not hesitate to act.”
Visit www.lbbd.gov.uk/covidabuse if you wish to report a business that is breaking coronavirus rules.
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