Licensing update on 35 Earlham Street WC2H 9LD (Escapologist bar)

Licensing update

The Escapologist bar, 35 Earlham Street WC2H 9LD

September 2020

On 8th September The Escapologist bar was refused its application to stay open until 2.30am and serve drinks until 2am.  Over 30 residents and tenants’ associations near to the premises had submitted objections to Camden council, many of whom attended the Licensing hearing.  The hearing took place online, and you can see a recording of the proceedings here.

CGCA led the case for the residents, a number of whom also spoke to give clear explanations of the issues.  The evidence was acknowledged by the council’s committee, who had expressed the desire to find some way to grant the later hours if possible, but could not find any conditions that would prevent the problems that we described.

This was an important win.  Such a late licence for a drink-led operation in a densely residential area would have been a dangerous precedent.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Its clear that residents have been beset by problems from this bar for years.  Their customers behave badly and/or cause disturbance late on many nights, outside the premises and across the wider area.  However, neighbours have not registered complaints with Camden council for a long time.   The lawyers for the applicant made much of this, implying that there wasn’t really any nuisance to report.  As witnesses said at the hearing, the last thing you want to do when you have been woken up is to ring the council and lose any chance of getting back to sleep.  But, even if you can’t bear to do anything immediately, please report a problem next day so that it’s logged.  Take a look at our Noise Nuisance page to find the links for this.  Logging some complaints makes it easier if a Licence needs to be reviewed at a later date.  It also motivates many operators to liaise better with their neighbours to resolve issues long before any litigious confrontation.  Takeaway: REPORT IT!


July 2020

The owners of the Escapologist bar, Adventure, have applied to Camden council to extend their licence  so that they can stay open until 2.30am, and also include off-sales in their licence for the first time.

Unfortunately the premises already cause nuisance in the densely residential area of Seven Dials.  Escapologist has a later licence than any other drink-led business in the vicinity, as it can serve until Midnight Monday to Saturday, and can open until 12.30am.

The problems they cause usually involve crowds of noisy people outside, either on the pavement or spilling out into the road.  They cause obstruction, and they disturb people nearby when it gets late and there is nobody else around.  The streets of Seven Dials are remarkably little background noise after 10.30pm during the week.

There have also been problems with noisy deliveries at antisocial hours.

Any such issues are likely to be magnified many times over if the bar stays open until 2.30am.  Seven Dials is silent at this time, and any sound echoes in our narrow streets.  The lovely walls of the old brewery buildings bounce noise around.  Beware if you sit on the Dial in the early hours and whisper sweet nothings – your conversation will be shared with everyone!

Local people are very concerned about this application so Covent Garden community Association (CGCA) has objected to it.  If you would like to make comments please search for the application with reference ‘APP\PREMISES-NEW\102017’ on Camden’s Licensing portal by clicking here.  The deadline for comments is Midnight on 15/07/2020.

You can see the comments that we have submitted here.


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