Neighbours fail to close Guy Ritchie's pub

Council imposes restrictions after receiving 70 complaints

Having already had time called on his marriage to Madonna, the film-maker Guy Ritchie has narrowly avoided last orders also being served on his London pub.

After formal complaints from neighbours, Westminster City Council has imposed various working conditions on the Punchbowl in Mayfair, including customers not being allowed to drink outside after 8pm and smokers restricted to a certain area after that time. Staff also have to make hourly checks outside for glasses and litter.

Ritchie, whose Sherlock Holmes remake premiered in London this week, co-owns the pub. Some 70 complaints about rowdy drunken crowds have been made in the past 18 months.

The council arranged a hearing after it received a 23-page application from residents wanting to get the pub's licence reviewed.

Sherlock Holmes actors Jude Law and Robert Downey Junior have enjoyed "a lot of late nights in the pub", Ritchie admitted at Monday night's premiere of the film. Justin Timberlake and Kevin Spacey have also been known to visit. The pub is pointed out on London sightseeing tour buses and has hosted many private parties, including Ritchie's 40th birthday in September last year, which jammed the road with traffic.

The three residents behind the application to get the licence reviewed were art dealer Alan Hobart, Canadian property tycoon William Shenkman and Meryl Caio. Their barrister Leo Charalambides said: "It has metamorphasised 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 had complained about noise levels, broken glass, and that crowds of up to 150 people spill out of the pub and drink in the middle of the road. They also claim that customers have urinated against local houses on the otherwise quiet Mayfair side street.

Mr Charalambides said that pub regulars were members of the "leisure classes" who could afford to "cause a nuisance on seven days of the week". He claimed that the pub hosts live music acts, which Ritchie has mentioned in press interviews, despite not having a licence to do so.

Ward councillor Glenys Roberts told the hearing: "We are absolutely not against pubs. We are not even against the Punchbowl except that it has changed dramatically in its nature since the old historic building and activities that we were all familiar with before."

Representing the pub, Julian Skeen said that Ritchie would have liked to be at the hearing but was busy working on his new film. He said: "He very much wanted to be here. You'll see in the papers that he is thought to be a central figure for these premises."

Co-director of the pub Piers Adam, a friend of Princes William and Harry, attended the hearing. He said that despite the problems they hoped to keep running the venue.

"It has been mine and Guy's local for 10 years, and hopefully we'll be there until we pop off," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...