A Birmingham city center bar that hosted a 40-person underground shisha party during the lockdown has had its license revoked.
The Modern restaurant on Summer Lane was the subject of a hearing last week and the board has now decided to revoke its license and revoke Mr. Yohannes Abraham as designated place supervisor.
The heads of the licensing committee called the incident a “cynical attempt at financial gain that directly defied the law.”
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Advisers learned how police arrived at the restaurant on May 4 to find at least 37 customers gathered in the cellar, with shisha pipes used and drinks served in direct contradiction to health and Covid guidelines.
A spokesperson for the store had argued that the 37 customers gathered outside before police arrived and entered the premises’ basement of their own accord upon arrival.
However the licensing subcommittee released its decision and wrote: “The subcommittee heard from Environmental Health, who supported the police representations and also observed that there was an additional risk in terms of ‘fire.
“Smoking shisha in an unventilated basement (cellar) was unsatisfactory, especially during a pandemic.
“In Environmental Health’s view, Mr. Abraham’s style of operation was a cynical attempt at financial gain that directly defied the law; Environmental Health therefore had no confidence in Mr. Abraham to meet the objectives of the authorization.
“The two responsible authorities at the meeting said that Mr. Abraham had placed profit above public safety, which was unacceptable in terms of licensing targets. The subcommittee agreed that this had been the motivation and frowned on it.
“Mr. Abraham’s counsel argued that as a new operator, Mr. Abraham had not had sufficient time or experience to understand where his obligations lay and that he should therefore be granted a Second chance.
“However, the problem was public safety – members were not amused that a new operator had taken such a cavalier attitude towards Her Majesty’s government regulations and advice regarding Covid-19.
“There were few excuses for an operator, experienced or not, to think this was an acceptable way to manage licensed premises; after all, the pandemic had dominated the life of the nation and was the main story of every newsletter. , since March 2020. “
Locals will now have 21 days to appeal the decision.