A SEAFRONT restaurant and bar could lose its licence after being labelled as the “epicentre of violence” in Clacton’s night-time economy.

Police have been called to Kassaba Turkish Grill and Meze, in Marine Parade East, at least nine times since the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The catalogue of alleged incidents at the troublespot include brawls between large groups, involving bottles and furniture being used as weapons, and reports of underage drinking.

The restaurant could now lose its licence, which allows the sale of alcohol, dancing, music and late-night refreshment, after a review was called by Essex Police.

The force’s application listed nine recent incidents, including:

The application for the review, which will be carried out by Tendring Council’s licensing sub-committee on October 16, is on the grounds that licensing objectives to prevent crime and disorder and public nuisance have been breached.

The report said: “Since the easing of lockdown on July 4, the Kassaba has become an epicentre for violence and nuisance in the night-time economy in Clacton.

“The issues caused as a direct result of poor management of the Kassaba are having a deep and wide-reaching impact on the local community.

“Such instances have direct effects on the local economy and the reputation of Clacton as a destination, as well as a direct, personal effect on those living and working nearby.”

The report said that not only has the management team allowed the venue to spiral into a state of anti-social behaviour, but they have also allowed underage people to drink to the point of “drunkenness and aggression”.

Acting Chief Inspector Martin Richards said persistent issues were causing “significant” financial and resourcing implications for the police.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Licence review - Kassaba in Marine Parade East, Clacton.

He added: “The large number of drinkers being intoxicated, causing antisocial behaviour and breaching Covid-19 rules are causing the community huge concern and are affecting their lives detrimentally.”

A nearby hotelier said the fighting has had a severe impact on his health, family and business.

“Since the lockdown relaxed I have had constant sleeping issues due to the activity at Kassaba,” he said.

“The effect on my business has put significant financial pressure on me.

“I am forced to regularly refund customers who complain about the fighting and noise outside.”

The committee will decide whether to modify the conditions of the licence, exclude activities, remove the premises supervisor, suspend the licence for up to three months or to revoke the licence.

Essex Police has called for it to be revoked, citing remedying the situation as being insufficient to act as a deterrent from “blatantly ignoring” regulations.

Baktash Roohrawan, director of Kassaba, said the restaurant is not to blame for trouble in the street.

He said: “We have run the restaurant since 2018 and have never had a single problem until this year.

“This comes from complaints and I wonder whether people were just jealous because we were the only kids allowed to play in the playground after Covid.

“We have not breached any Covid rules and have never had more than 30 people in the restaurant.

“These incidents have not happened inside the premises, they’ve happened in the street - the blame cannot be put on Kassaba.”

Mr Roohrawan added that security guards were introduced following discussions with the council and that there has been no underage drinking at the site

“I used to stand at the bar and check IDs myself,” he added.

“We are a family run businesses and although we have other sites in London, we are still learning about Clacton.

“Other places have seen stabbings inside the premises and didn’t have their licence reviewed - where is the fairness?”