Council imposes restrictions on Ritchie pub

Council imposes restrictions on Ritchie pub

Guy Ritchie's business partner insisted that their west London pub would be an "asset to the community" as a series of licence restrictions were imposed on the venue.

The film director co-owns The Punch Bowl in Mayfair, which has been bombarded with 70 complaints about rowdy drunken crowds during the past 18 months.

Well-heeled residents in the area say that when the pub came under new management in May 2008 it became a magnet for the paparazzi and crowds hoping to catch a glimpse of famous clientele.

City of Westminster Council imposed various working conditions on the venue including customers not being allowed to drink outside after 8pm and smokers being restricted to a certain area after that time. Staff also have to make hourly checks outside for glasses and litter.

The move was made in response to a series of complaints by people living around the pub about noise levels, broken glass and crowds of up to 150 people spilling out and drinking in the middle of the road. They claimed that revellers would urinate against their houses and that rubbish left out by the venue staff caused a rat infestation.

The pub is on a tour bus route and private parties have been held there, including Ritchie's 40th birthday party in September last year, jamming the road with traffic and increasing demand for an already oversubscribed venue, they maintained.

Speaking after the hearing Piers Adam, a director of the pub along with Ritchie and Guy Pelly, a friend of Princes William and Harry, welcomed the council's decision. He said: "Westminster has shown complete impartiality and now we can move on and be a good asset to the community."

Three residents were behind a 23-page application to the council to get the licence reviewed: art dealer Alan Hobart, Canadian property tycoon William Shenkman and Meryl Caio. Their barrister, Leo Charalambides, told the hearing: "It has metamorphosised from a ye olde local English pub into something that's really internationally recognised on the A-list party circuit and by those who would like to get some of the glamour of going to such a venue."

Residents were aiming for a ban on outside drinking after 5pm as well as restrictions on capacity and off-sales, but these were rejected. The hearing was told that there were no complaints about the pub before Ritchie and his colleagues took over.

However Mr Adam said despite the problems they hope to keep running the venue. He said: "It has been mine and Guy's local for 10 years, hopefully we'll be there until we pop off."

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