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Silk Bar, Gravesend, will reopen today despite attack

A nightclub will be back in business for its first anniversary despite having its front windows smashed.

Police were called to Silk Bar, Parrock Street, Gravesend, at 11.40pm last night after a man threw rocks at the premises.

Silk Bar in Parrock Street, Gravesend will reopen its doors today. (16480950)
Silk Bar in Parrock Street, Gravesend will reopen its doors today. (16480950)

CCTV footage shows the balaclava-clad attacker step out of a Mercedes before throwing the items.

The club was due to reopen today at 4pm after its licence was reinstated last week.

Owner Mel Ibrahim says she called police to alert them of the damage but said they turned up "two and a half hours later".

She is determined not to let this attack stop the popular watering hole from reopening.

The 44-year-old was also keen to stress these kinds of acts were not a fair representation of the bar.

The licensing hearing was heard at the Gravesham Civic Centre
The licensing hearing was heard at the Gravesham Civic Centre

"I care about my customers. Look at my reviews - they are all five stars," she said.

The bar, which transforms into a nightclub on weekends, had its licence suspended last month after a fight broke out on August 30.

A man later pleaded guilty to criminal damage charges.

Mel appeared at the licence panel hearing held at Gravesham council on October 1 with the support of several business owners and clients.

Jaswinder Singh Thandi, landlord of the nearby Foresters Arms pub for the past 14 years, submitted a letter of support.

He said: "I personally know what a tight ship Mel runs at Silk Bar and my son Barinder Thandi used to go there quite often.

"I have numerous regular customers in my pub that go there and have nothing but good things to say about the premises."

The police licensing officer recognised and agreed with the proposed conditions submitted by the bar's legal team.

An agreement was reached to install new management and introduce revised licence conditions.

The club's closing times were reduced on Friday and Saturday from 4am to 3am and midnight on Thursday.

Last entry will be at 1am.

New ID scanners will also be introduced and police will authorise all club workers on the recommendation of the bar's owners.

Mel has since stepped down from her position as designated premises supervisor.

Speaking after the hearing last week, she praised those customers who turned out to support the bar in its hour of need.

She said: "I want to thank all my customers who came to the panel meeting. My customers are the best you can find in Gravesend."

Mel, who has been working in the industry for more than 20 years, will now be handing the day-to-day running to Brian Nixon, 65.

"I've made mistakes like everybody. I'm going to step back and hopefully they can do a good job without me. If they can't make it work it might be time for me to leave Gravesend," she said.

"We've got a point to make. We are going to set an example in Gravesend for other clubs to follow."

Police are conducting inquiries into the smashed windows and are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to call 01474 366149, quoting crime reference 46/195549/1.

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