London’s Casa Cruz could lose its licence after the restaurant hosted a lockdown party for Rita Ora.
Will we miss it? Our annual poll was not kind to it and recent snapshot we took on Twitter showed little sympathy to the restaurant.
Rita Ora’s Lockdown Party – should Casa Cruz lose its licence for hosting it as the Met want?https://t.co/3MlKNtrru1— Harden’s Guides (@HardensBites) January 29, 2021
The celeb spent her 30th birthday at the Notting Hill joint in November and since then there has been plenty of derision for both the pop star and the premises.
The Metropolitan police is currently seeking for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to revoke the venue’s licence. The case was discussed by the council’s licensing sub-committee last month. The sub-committee has the power to modify, suspend, or revoke the licence.
According to council documents, representatives of Ora contacted then restaurant General Manager Scottie Bahattarai asking to hold an event for “drinks and nibbles” and a fee of £5,000 was offered.
The owners and licence holders for the restaurant deny all knowledge of their GM’s actions, and claim that they are being punished for the rogue activities of their employee.
Given that the employee broke the law, admitted to knowing that they were breaking the law, and admitted that they had kept this from the owners it would be harsh indeed to remove a license on those grounds, surely?— Peter Davies (@peterdavies4371) January 29, 2021
The Caterer reports that Bhattarai attended the restaurant to facilitate the event on November 28, which is understood to have hosted about 17 people, including Cara and Poppy Delevingne.
Police attended Casa Cruz but were unable to gain access. Windows were blacked out and the door was locked.
Officers later attended the premises on December 1 to meet Bhattarai. He said he was the only person there on duty. The CCTV footage, he told police, had been turned off in accordance with the wishes of security present at the private party.
Bhattarai apologised and stated that he was “greedy”, though it is not known whether any money ever changed hands. It is understood that he no longer works for the company.
A lawyer speaking on the committee on behalf of the police described the event as “one of the most egregious and the most notorious breaches of the regulations committed on licensed premises during the pandemic”.
A lawyer on behalf of the restaurant said the company “unequivocally and unconditionally condemns” the incident and said the director did not know about or authorise the party.
The licensing authority said it has received 44 representations in support of the premises while the council will make its decision behind closed doors.
The police investigation is ongoing.