A panel of councillors has told a Hove bar owner that he can no longer run his premises after a machete attack outside last month.
The panel called for a “clean break with the past” after a number of other “incidents of concern” at the Mixologist, in Church Road, Hove.
The bar, formerly known as Misty’s, will become a restaurant but will stay closed with its licence suspended until a new “suitable” licence holder is appointed.
The owner, Afshin Kianifard, 50, surrendered his licence at a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel hearing at Brighton Town Hall on Tuesday (10 March).
The panel said: “The panel has decided to remove the current DPS (designated premises supervisor) from the licence and add a condition that, upon the transfer of the licence, a new DPS who is suitable to the police shall be appointed.
“This action gives legal effect to the steps already taken by the licence holder.”
The panel also said that the review was requested by Sussex Police “on the basis that the premises are associated with serious disorder”.
After a discussion in secret – with an agenda that was also withheld from the press and public – the panel said: “The incident involving serious disorder took place on the night of (Tuesday) 18 February.
“Full details of this incident are in the papers before us.
“The premises have previously been the subject of a licence review in March 2017.
“Additional material before us details further incidents of concern leading up to this application for review.
“Interim steps have been taken to suspend the premises licence pending this review hearing.
“No further representations from responsible authorities or other persons were made.
“At the panel hearing today the police and licence holder have presented an agreed proposal for the approval of the panel.
“The main feature of the proposal is that the current licence holder shall have no further involvement in the premises and that it will remain closed pending transfer to a new applicant who is suitable to the police.
“The premises will become a restaurant with the appropriate restaurant condition and licensable activities until midnight.
“The panel has given careful scrutiny to this proposal. In light of the history and recent events, the panel are keen to ensure that there is a clean break with the past.”
The panel said that any future licence must have conditions enforcing a zero-tolerance approach to drugs because of the premises’ previous record.
In March 2017 the bar, then known as Misty’s, had its licence reviewed after drug swabs found traces of cocaine on three occasions.
Recent tests are believed to have found further signs of drugs use at the premises.
Sussex Police asked for a review then after a series of serious incidents, including assaults with life-changing injuries, public order offences and a drunken brawl, during the previous two years.
At the time the bar’s licence was suspended and Mr Kianifard rebranded the bar in the hope of attracting different customers.
Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn, who chairs the council’s Licensing Committee, said that she was disappointed the bar was going through the same review process as it did three years ago.
She sat on the previous review panel, which met in public, and said: “I am delighted this premises will not be operating as a bar until very late.
“The conditions are that the owner of the Mixologist will not be involved.”
“This action shows how seriously we take issues that undermine the licensing objectives.”
The latest incident, the machete attack, happened outside the Mixologist on Tuesday 18 February.
The owner of the neighbouring restaurant Shandiz – Ashkan Zahedian, 29, of Bodiam House, Davigdor Road, Hove – was arrested and remains in prison on remand.
Zahedian, a former BHASVIC and Hove Park pupil, is awaiting trial on a charge of maliciously wounding security guard Danny Chapman, also 29, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm (GBH). He also faces a charge of having a machete in a public place.
Two other men, a 52-year-old and a 34-year-old, were arrested on suspicion of assault causing GBH, and a 30-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting actual bodily harm (ABH).
They have all been released on police bail until Wednesday 18 March.
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