Night of violence could be last straw for Wimbledon gay bar – South London News

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Service

Wimbledon’s first LGBT+ bar could be stripped of its licence for good after staff failed to call the police when an “extremely violent fight” broke out on a Monday night last month.

The November 22 incident at The Bar CMYK allegedly saw a man hit over the head with a bottle and another knocked unconscious.

At around 2am, police arrived to find blood on the pavement, doors and windows of the bar in The Broadway. They were met with a group of men who claimed another group had started a fight with them.

According to police, CCTV footage showed the fight in full, with glass bottles being used as weapons.

One man was said to be knocked unconscious and was out cold for more than a minute while he was kicked and the fight carried on around him.

The Met report, which was considered by Merton council, said there was one member of security trying to break up the fight but that no other members of staff stepped in to help.

While police officers were watching the footage, another altercation broke out. They found a man whose face and head was covered in blood who said he had been hit with a bottle.

The report said: “No members of staff called police or an ambulance, nor did they offer any first aid to people with serious injuries.”

It is the second time this year the venue, which is Wimbledon’s first gay bar, was up for a Merton council license review. In July, it was forced to close earlier at weekends after a string of incidents.

One of the conditions of the current licence was that no glass should be used at the bar.

Despite this “serious injuries” were caused with glass bottles leading police to believe “the premises licence holder [has] total disregard for the extra conditions imposed”.

After the latest incident, Merton council’s licensing sub-committee met on November 29 and decided to suspend the bar’s licence to serve alcohol.

This was an “interim step” and the committee will meet again on Tomorrow (December 20) to decide whether the venue should permanently lose its licence.

Steve Sotiriou, who owns the bar, said in July that he could be closing in a matter of weeks. He said: “I tried to give Wimbledon a bar for the gay community.

“I tried to do my best. If the police and people in Wimbledon don’t want that bar then I will close it.”

Pictured top: Bar CMYK in the Broadway (left) (Picture: Google Street View)

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