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Late night Bank Bar shut down by Shepway council

A late night bar’s licence has been suspended following complaints over “intolerable” noise and behaviour.

Shepway council stripped Bank Bar’s licence after hearing a string of residents’ complaints about the venue’s conduct.

The licence was revoked after a council investigation last year ruled the venue, situated under the Kalala restaurant, was unlawful after promoters advertised it online as a nightclub.

Bank Bar, FolkestonePicture: Gary Browne FM4636983 (1262466)
Bank Bar, FolkestonePicture: Gary Browne FM4636983 (1262466)

District councilor Russell Tillson, chairman of the licensing sub-committee, said: “The disturbance caused by late night noise and the behaviour of certain customers was intolerable.

“No efforts appear to have been made voluntarily by the business to reduce the impact it had on others.

“As a council we recognise the benefits of the night-time economy but this must not be at a cost to people who want to enjoy the peace of their homes or simply get a good night’s sleep.”

The venue owners have three months to meet seven strict conditions outlined by the authority.

If they are not met the Castle Hill Avenue venue will not reopen.

The conditions include:

• Reducing opening hours from 3am to 11.30pm – with live and recorded music and alcohol sales ending at 11pm

• Installing a noise limiter, set at a level agreed by the council

• Ensuring at least one registered doorman is present at all times when live music or events take place

• Installing double doors at the front entrance

• Ensuring that a premises supervisor is on site during opening hours.

• Limiting the number of people in the smoking area to 10 at any time and not allowing inebriated customers in the smoking area

• No alcoholic drinks to be taken outside the premises or in the smoking area after 9pm

Bank Bar has been contacted for comment.

Cllr Tilson maintained the council will be happy to reconsider the venue’s license once the steps have been taken.

Last year Bank Bar was subjected to a Shepway District Council (SDC) probe where owner George Lim was ordered to prove the venue was a separate company to the Kalala restaurant above.

The investigation concluded breaches in planning laws, licensing laws and discovered ‘suffering’ to those living nearby.

The 150-capacity bar was even advertised as an electronic music venue on Facebook.

Bank Bar, FolkestonePicture: Gary Browne FM4636984 (1262458)
Bank Bar, FolkestonePicture: Gary Browne FM4636984 (1262458)

And while Mr Lim sought to prove the two businesses had been operating separately for 10 years, the authority rejected the evidence.

Official council papers say: “A lot of noise, disturbance and anti social behaviour is generated from the basement premises nightclub which creates significant disturbance to local residents.

“It resulted in broken glass, cigarette butts, vomit and fights outside.

“It is commonly accepted the bar and restaurant are one.

“As a nightclub it has a DJ, dance floor and late night closing times.

“There is clearly a physical link and connection between the ground floor restaurant and the basement bank bar below.”

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