A controversial Aberdeen pub where Scotland fans were filmed breaching coronavirus guidelines has been forced to stop selling alcohol over the weekend.
A hearing is to be held next week into an application to renew the licence for The Draft Project in Langstane Place, which has been operating on an occasional licence which expired last night.
It means the PB Devco-run beer tent, behind the granite frontage of the former Bruce Millers music shop, will not be able to serve alcohol this weekend.
There was widespread condemnation for the venue, its customers and the operator as jubilant Scotland football fans forewent coronavirus safety rules to celebrate their team’s Euro qualification last week.
The marquee remained trading last night.
PB Devco, headed by Stuart Clarkson, had requested Aberdeen Licensing Board consider its application at 4.30pm yesterday afternoon, in the hope it would get renewed for the weekend.
Instead the bar will be dry until the hearing, which is yet to be arranged.
Another of PB Devco’s bars, the Bieldside Inn, met a similar fate last weekend.
A sub-committee of the licensing board considered the numerous written submissions on the application, and ruled a full hearing was “appropriate”, a council spokesman said.
“No date for this has yet been fixed, but will be as soon as practicable.”
Mr Clarkson refused to comment when contacted by The P&J last night.
The day after the crowds hugged, jumped around, sang and shouted in his venue, he admitted “misjudging” staff’s ability to oversee the crowds, adding: “We were simply unable to contain the outbreak of joy at Scotland’s success.”
The sub-committee meeting came hours after a last ditch effort by some city councillors to have the local authority – separate to the licensing board – officially object to the application.
Councillors voted at a hastily arranged meeting of the little-used special licensing objections committee – but ruled the council should take no action.
Conservative councillor Ryan Houghton, convening, said it would be a “peculiar step” to intervene.
He said: “I understand there is definitely a lot of public concern relating to videos around the premises on the night of a football game where a ‘once in a generation’ – some might say – goal was scored and people were very excitable.
“However I also saw videos of many premises in Aberdeen displaying pretty much the same behaviour and to my knowledge there is no other request to determine any other premises’ occasional licence.
“So I am a little concerned we seem to be singling out one single premises.
“We have public health officials and police who would be best placed to make objections based on evidence and the facts as they know them, dealing with these matters on a routine basis – as opposed to us, it seems to me, getting together off the back of media interest in this one particular premises.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Delaney – whose suggested objection was voted down three votes to two – countered: “I feel leadership has to be shown at such a time.
“It is understood people were quite rightly euphoric at the Scotland game given the excellent result.
“We need to look at this particular incident – football matches are not exactly a new phenomenon and licensed premises are very much used to managing them.
“But unfortunately these premises found themselves unable to manage the situation – which anyone could have reasonably foreseen.”