Notting Hill restaurant served as the setting for Rita Ora’s 30th birthday party during the nationwide lockdown last November
Casa Cruz, the restaurant that hosted Rita Ora’s 30th birthday party, has had its operating license suspended for six weeks following a review.
Metropolitan Police have called for an investigation into the Notting Hill lair where pop star Rita flouted the rules last year by celebrating with friends during the second nationwide lockdown.
The party has been described as one of the most “egregious and notorious” violations by agents during a hearing of the Kensington and Chelsea council licensing subcommittee last week.
Summarizing their decision today, the committee decided it was “necessary and proportionate” to suspend the restaurant’s license for six weeks.
They also asked the former designated supervisor of the premises, Mr. Scottie Bhattarai, not to be allowed to enter the site at any time or to be employed or act on behalf of the license holder.
ritaora / Instagram)
In order to keep its license, Casa Cruz must also provide “additional guarantees to ensure the functioning of the video surveillance”.
The venue was found to have violated licensing rules by not allowing police to enter the premises and failing to provide them with CCTV footage of the venue on the night of Ora’s birthday.
Last Thursday’s hearing learned that Ora’s party was scheduled to take place at a friend’s home, but plans were hastily rearranged after paparazzi showed up outside before the start of the event.
Charles Holland, a lawyer representing the police, called on the council to send a “strong and clear message to the hospitality industry and the general public” that such rule violations are not acceptable.
He said: “The incident at night was one of the most egregious, and certainly the most notorious, rule violations committed on the authorized premises.”
He added that Ora “selfishly wanted to flout the lockdown” by seeking to pay to access the Casa Cruz restaurant on Clarendon Road.
Gary Grant, a representative for the restaurant, told the committee that plans to host the party at Casa Cruz were made at the last minute after photographers showed up outside a house where it was originally scheduled to take place.
“There was a panicked phone call in the afternoon, I believe, of the 28th, from a close associate of Ms. Ora.”
He added that they had asked “in desperation” if the party could take place at the restaurant and they agreed.
Metropolitan Police PC Ian Davies urged council to revoke Casa Cruz’s license during the hearing.
He said: “These are unprecedented times, with the continued loss of human life, disease, various sacrifices and the economic hardships that this country is facing.
“Every day grim milestones are reached regarding this pandemic.
“A clear message to the hospitality industry in its indirect responsibilities must be respected regarding premises that are likely to operate during these nationwide closures to deter and discourage the public from hosting such events as no one is above them. laws and everything will be held accountable. “
Rita Ora / Instagram)
Scott Bhattarai, who is described in council documents as the restaurant’s general manager at the time of the party, has already made a statement to police on December 1 and said he has authorized use of the premises.
According to documents previously released by the council, he said Ora’s representatives called him on his personal cell phone around 5:30 p.m. on the day of the party and told him they wanted to use the place for “drinking and snacking.” “.
Mr Bhattarai said representatives offered £ 5,000 and most of the staff were on leave, so he went to Casa Cruz to ‘facilitate the event’.
He later apologized in his witness statement for being “greedy”. The £ 5,000 charge for using the restaurant was never paid to Mr Bhattarai by Ora or any of his associates.
Mr Bhattarai has since been sacked by the restaurant, the committee was told.
Rita Ora did not comment on the audience last week, but previously apologized to fans for her actions saying it was “the spur of the moment.”
She said: “I feel particularly embarrassed to know firsthand how hard people have worked to fight this terrible disease and to be fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help us ensure. our security.
“Even though this won’t help matters, I want to sincerely apologize.”
Rita offered to pay £ 10,000 to organize the party.
Dave Benett / Getty Images for Charles Finch)
She then apologized for a second violation of UK Covid restrictions after failing to self-isolate after a trip to Egypt.
Rita flew overseas for a private performance on November 21 and returned the next day, where she should have been in self-isolation for two weeks.
However, she was photographed at the Casa Cruz restaurant having a party a few days later.
Apologizing for her second social media breach, Rita said: “The guilt and shame I have carried this week for my mistake is not worth it. Instead, just keep listening to the advice. government and the voices of the heroes of the NHS and take the necessary precautions. I will accept criticism that comes to me because I deserve it. “