Police call for 'worst run venue in Soho during London Pride' to lose licence

Canwood55 (Google Maps)
Canwood55 (Google Maps)

Police have called for a Soho restaurant to lose its licence - dubbing it “by far the worst-run” during London Pride.

The Met Police claimed Canwood55 on Frith Street was run in an “awful way”, alleging it had repeatedly breached its restaurant-only licence by serving booze without food, and that a senior staff member was aggressive to police.

In a submission to Westminster City Council, the Met said officers had to Google the law on their phones to prove they were allowed inside the venue on Pride on July 1 after initially being refused entry.

Once inside, officers said they found the restaurant flouting its licensing conditions by operating as a busy dance bar, despite repeated warnings throughout the day.

It said in a “bizarre” turn of events, a drunk manager attempted to physically stop an officer walking around the premises and then ran off from police.

A drunken customer also told officers to “f**k off” as they attempted to reason with the manager, officers said.

In a witness statement, PC Steve Muldoon said: “Having left the venue I can say this was by far the worst run premises throughout the entire event during Pride.”

Met PC Adam Deweltz added: “In all my experience as a Police Licensing Officer, I have never dealt with such an awkward, unaccommodating and unreasonable operator.”

Councillors have been told this came on top of repeated visits by enforcement officials at Westminster Council and the police at which concerns were raised about the venue not following licensing rules.

In one visit, when staff were asked who the manager was, staff allegedly responded: “We have not decided who the manager is yet”, and when asked to show the CCTV or print off receipts from the till, claimed not to be able to do so.

Council documents state: “Westminster Council has written to the premises licence holder and designated premises supervisor on many occasions, inviting them to respond and put their case forward following persistent non-compliance of licence conditions and unsatisfactory management of the premises.

“Unfortunately, all formal letters sent by the Council, in the period outlined in this Review, have remained unanswered.”

The Standard has emailed Canwood55 for comment.

Councillors will decide on the future of the venue’s licence at a hearing on November 2.