Dalston pool hall and popular hangout EFES has had its alcohol license revoked, Hackney Council has revealed.
A police officer’s witness statement on Hackney Council’s website said that: “The management team of the venue have a lackadaisical approach to the running of a snooker club”, and that a bartender had been observed serving drunk persons alcohol between 11pm on Friday November 30 and 3am on Saturday December 1, 2012.
The statement also reveals that on the same evening, a plain clothes police officer: “entered EFES whilst in possession of a large offensive weapon. He was not searched by venue security at the point of entry.”
Steve Taylor, manager of EFES, said: “EFES snooker club has been a family-run establishment for the last 6 years. The late night pool, snooker and affordable bar offering have all helped make EFES a Dalston institution. EFES Snooker Club remains a safe and welcoming environment with many loyal and repeat customers from our Hackney community and sometimes further afield.”
The club’s late licence has made it a popular haunt among Hackney’s younger crowd on Friday and Saturday nights.
Frances Davison, 20, lives in Haggerston and often visits the bar at weekends. She said: “I’m really sad to hear about this decision. It’s a travesty really; EFES is an institution. Not being able to drink at EFES will certainly change local nightlife. No matter where else fails you in Dalston, you always know it’s going to be good in there.”
Taylor has made it clear that he will appeal the decision. He said: “We accept that historically we have made some mistakes and that we have accidentally breached some of the technical conditions on our license. We look forward to collaborating with Hackney Council and police to further reduce any instances of crime and disorder, increase public safety yet further and continue to prevent any threat of public nuisance.
“We remain open for business as usual and EFES remains one of the few premises shared by Turkish and the wider Hackney community.”