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Dalston’s Efes - popular with Peaches Geldof, Alexa Chung and Kelly Osborne - to appeal loss of licence over crime fears

PUBLISHED: 14:51 22 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:51 25 February 2013

The Efes Snooker Club at 17 Stoke Newington Road.

The Efes Snooker Club at 17 Stoke Newington Road.

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A pool club popular with celebrities such as Peaches Geldof, Alexa Chung and Kelly Osborne has lost its licence after police branded it a “crime generator”.

A Dalston pool club, popular with celebs like Peaches Geldof, Alexa Chung and Kelly Osborne, has had its licence revoked, after police branded it a “crime generator”.

The trendy clientele of Efes in Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, are up in arms, and owner Yasar Akin plans to appeal the decision.

Police asked Hackney Council’s licensing sub-committee to remove the club’s licence after continuous problems at the venue.

In a report, Sgt Guy Hicks said the club had come to the attention of police after it opened without a licence in 2008. In 2010 intelligence suggested it had gang links.

“The level of theft is wholly disproportionate to similar well managed venues in the area,” he said.

Habitual breaches of the premises licence include inadequate numbers of security staff, no staff training in crime prevention, no hourly checks on toilets, music played so loud it could be heard on the street with windows wide open, as well as allowing entry once the club was meant to be closed.

People have been caught fighting with snooker cues and an officer testing the search policy was admitted with a hammer in a back pocket.

Many residents wrote to the committee alleging that the venue is run like a nightclub and drinking establishment rather than a pool bar, and is the focus of local nuisance and disorder.

“My life and those of my neighbours has suffered terribly over the last few years,” said a resident of Stoke Newington Road.

A John Campbell Road resident said: “The streets outside our homes are where they congregate on their way to the Efes, when they are already fairly drunk, and on their way out when they are so incapacitated that they have completely lost control over both the volume of their voices and their bladders.”

The pool bar is billed on the internet as ‘the place to go once other pubs and clubs have closed’ by Blog ‘London on the Inside’, which claims to pick up on the hippest trends, coolest bands, social events and industry secrets.

“Efes is the latest hangout of choice for fashionistas and cool kids alike,” it states.

“It usually gets too busy to actually play snooker but there’s always plenty of drunken characters to keep you entertained, it doesn’t fill up until 2am and if you can still see by the time you arrive you’re better than us.”

But Mr Yasar Akin is confident he will win the appeal.

“The police are saying that there was poor management, but our customer base will tell you it’s the safest place in Dalston,” he said.

“For the last six years I’ve run the business and we never had any trouble inside, there was no drug dealing, it was a very clean cut club.

“Of course we had little mistakes like all clubs do, but it wasn’t major mistakes.”

He denied running the pool bar like a night club and letting people in after hours.

The premises can sell alcohol until the appeal deadline next week, but if no appeal is submitted must stop.


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