A “NIGHTMARE” pub has been temporarily closed following 32 police inspections – in one year.
Officers responded to complaints which included a fight erupting following a wake at the Kirk Inn, Kirkcaldy, Fife.
On another occasion, 20 people were kicked out of the establishment and began fighting in the street. Underage drinkers were also involved in several incidents.
A Fife Councillor who heard the evidence remarked that he had never heard of an establishment “failing the licence on all five conditions before”.
Police said that in addition to make 32 official inspection visits since January last year they had responded to numerous other call outs.
The owners of the Kirk Inn blamed the mayhem on their tenant manager who they are trying to evict. Fife Council ordered an immediate six-week closure and imposed strict conditions on its reopening.
A local newspaper account of the hearing, stated that on September 27 last year “at around 9.40pm, five calls were made to police about a large scale incident with around 20 people outside the pub.
“Police found one man lying on the ground and two men still fighting. After speaking to the manager it emerged they had been kicked out of the pub and started arguing outside.”
The account added: “On December 4, after a wake at the pub, teenage boys who had been drinking, got into a fight outside.
“Police were also told by ambulance control that there was potentially a 17-year-old male who had been the victim of a hit and run outside the pub. The teen was taken to hospital where he couldn’t remember if he had been served alcohol in the pub.”
As recently as December 28, the parents of a 16-year-old boy complained after collecting their son drunk from the pub.
According to the paper, Councillor Gavin Ellis told the meeting: “I’ve never seen someone who has failed the licence on all five conditions before. It’s pretty unique, and not in a good way.”
A report from Fife Police to Fife Council states that the owner of the pub is David Elliott and Andrew Holder is the premises manager.
The report quotes a Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) as saying: “Spoke with licence holder David Elliott and he acknowledged the warning letter. LSO explained the process of a premises review and he said that his solicitor is starting the process to have the tenants evicted.”
The agenda for the licensing meeting reveals that the council decided against complete closure.
Instead, the pub will be allowed to reopen after six weeks on the condition that there will be no trade after 11pm and security will be in place every weekend when it reopens. There will no longer be any outdoor drinking permitted and smoking will be closely monitored.
It has also been reiterated that young people must be supervised at all times.
Some locals were unhappy the pub was allowed to stay in business.
One, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s just a nightmare. It can be relentless.
“We’ve had fights on the street, drug deals on the street and people tooting horns at 3am.
“I think the licence holder should be removed.”
Another resident, who also wanted to remain anonymous, said: “I think the licence should have been stopped altogether. There’s been so much police here.”
According to the local newspaper account of the meeting, a representative for Mr Elliott described him to the licensing board as a “well-established businessman…respectable and well thought of”.
He said Mr Elliott was trying to get Mr Holden, who lives at the pub, removed.
Police Scotland today confirmed that one of their officers told the meeting: “We have serious concerns about these premises. The concerns of the Chief Constable are such that we would respectfully go as far as to recommend the premise’s licence is revoked.”
The pub has received 19 “terrible” reviews on Tripadvisor to date – nearly half of the 43 reviews in total.
One review by Lorraine F says: “Having visited the Kirk Inn personally with friends and read the previous reviews I am astounded that trading standards has not intervened. This place is needing closed down. Such a waste of a building with great potential.”
Another by Eilidh M reads: “I would advise each and everyone who even debates going here to avoid it!”
Nicole I said: “Avoid at all costs. Unless you’re after a fiver deal.”
The pub has, however, received 13 five-star reviews online, including one from mrskglover last May which read: “The staff couldn’t do enough for us we will definitely be back.
“Sometimes all you want is nice friendly people and that’s what we got, couldn’t recommend them highly enough.”
Another from Alfie50 says: “From the moment we walked in the service was excellent. The young man who served us was warm welcoming and helpful.”