A town centre pub in Leek will remain open to serve food and non-alcohol drinks - despite having its drinks licence temporarily suspended for two days.
We reported earlier today (Thursday, May 8) that Staffordshire Police Licensing Unit have issued a ‘Closure Notice’ to The Roebuck in Derby Street, Leek after alcohol was sold to underage customers.
The Roebuck sold alcohol to juvenile volunteers posing as customers twice within a one-month period (between 28 February and 14 March) and by doing so committed the offence of 'persistently selling alcohol to children'.
The ‘Closure Notice’ will come into effect today (Thursday May 8) at 5pm and last until after 5pm on Saturday (May 10).
Staffordshire Police has now confirmed that the Roebuck can remain open for the two days, but not serve any alcohol. A police spokesman said: "The Closure Notice relates to the prohibition
of selling alcohol at the venue for the specified period.
"The venue can remain open if it wishes to sell food and non-alcoholic drinks for example."
A spokesman for Titanic Brewery, which owns The Roebuck, has told the Post & Times that the venue will remain open, but will not be selling alcohol for two days. He said: “We will be unable to serve alcohol at the Roebuck from 5pm today (Thursday May 8) until 5pm on Saturday (May 10). We will remain open for the sale of soft drinks, hot beverages and our great local food offering.
“Having failed two underage test purchases, carried out by Trading Standards, our licence has effectively been suspended for a 48 hour period.
“We at Titanic Brewery take very seriously our commitment to local community and our accountability for making sure alcohol produced by us, and consumed on our premises, is drunk responsibly.
“This includes making sure that the law is upheld and minors are not allowed to purchase alcohol. These two failures, among half a million transactions that take place in our pubs per annum, are still taken seriously by us.
“Since they occurred we have implemented training for all our staff that is fully documented, paid for the printing of posters reminding our customers of the law, and had our till software rewritten to remind bar staff every time they make a sale to check the customer looks over 25 or ask for ID.
“However, despite all our efforts it was still considered by the licensing officer to constitute the offence of persistently selling alcohol to minors and as such our license to retail alcohol has been suspended.”
The spokesman added: “I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for our failures, and apologise to those customers who are unable to enjoy a drink in the Roebuck’s wonderfully convivial surroundings during the suspension, and I hope that you will come back to our community as soon as possible.
“I would also like to reiterate Titanic Brewery’s commitment to responsible drinking, our local communities, bringing people together in safe supervised environments and to avoiding in future being considered irresponsible retailers or in any way a threat to society.”