Source: City of Sunderland
The direction to close notice, which was served today, stipulates that The Saltgrass in Hanover Place, Deptford, must close for two weeks from 4pm tomorrow, Friday 9 October until Friday 23 October.
The closure follows an Oktoberfest event at the pub on Saturday 3 October targeted at mixed household groups, where a mix of loud music, singing, shouting and dancing led to a breakdown of social distancing.
Police and licensing officers who visited the premises also observed customers being allowed to finish their drinks after 10pm and the pub owner not taking appropriate action to address this and other concerns.
This was not the first time police and licensing officers have had cause to visit the pub. A previous direction issued to the pub on 24 September raised concerns among other things about the way food and drink were being served, seating arrangements and customers being served after 10pm.
There had also been a number of letters and phone calls advising the owner of the guidance and regulations and how to operate a Covid secure business. These followed reports from members of the public about loud music, large groups congregating, poor management of social distancing around the toilets and lack of sanitising stations.
Council Leader, Councillor Graeme Miller, said: “Much as we want to support our hospitality sector and continue to make the case for more financial assistance for them, we cannot have licensed premises putting their customers’ safety at risk.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We have been working closely with licensed premises throughout the pandemic to provide them with the advice and support they need to mitigate the transmission of the virus.
“While the vast majority of pubs, clubs, restaurants and takeaways are operating safely, it is clear that a small number are not and we will not hesitate to take action against those we find flouting the rules and ignoring our advice.”