Clowns Wine Bar ordered to stop selling alcohol for ten days

Police have imposed a temporary closure order after staff were caught serving underage drinkers on three occasions

Jesters Nightclub’s sister bar Clowns Wine Bar has been ordered to stop serving alcohol for ten days after staff were caught serving 15 to 16 year olds.

The popular student pub crawl and pre-drink location was issued the order after three instances of staff serving underage drinkers in the last 10 months.

You'll love it. You'll hate it. Sometimes both on the same night.

The ban will run from Monday 18th April to Wednesday 27th April, during which the Bar will be unable to serve alcohol of any kind.

They were caught out by a police test purchasing operation run with Trading Standards.

Staff members were fined £80 and lost their jobs on each separate occasion.

Jesters and Clowns owner Nick Green told the Soton Tab “The reason for the ban was for two failed test purchases within a 3 month period. Both of which were failed by a member of staff on their first shift.

“Both staff had been fully trained and we’re following our guidelines by asking each customer for ID. Unfortunately on both occasions they failed to ask the test purchaser.

“This resulted in an £80 for the member of staff and the loss of their job before the really ever had it.

“Clowns Wine Bar doesn’t have and never has had a problem with underage drinkers. As you know, it’s a student bar only, ID is always ask for and we are closed out of term time.

“This situation has cost two student members of staff £80 fines and their jobs, along with the closure of Clowns wine bar for 10 days. All for a problem that does not exist. Sadly this is the result of a removal of common sense within the police force and another step towards statistical policing.

Jesters will be opening as usual, maybe an hour or two earlier to compensate for clowns being closed.”

The temporary banning order follows from their previous failure of a test purchase in January, when they were forced to close early on a Saturday evening.

PC Jackie Cherry from the Licensing Department said: “It is important that licensees and their employees understand the harm that selling alcohol to young people can do, both to the individuals and to the local community.

“Selling alcohol to children will not be tolerated and we will continue to work with Trading Standards to protect children from harm and ensure licensees don’t break the law.

“Anyone who has information about premises that sell alcohol to children should contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.”