Bar boss wins licensing battle

Marcus Hrubesch of the Solo Bar in Sleaford.
Marcus Hrubesch of the Solo Bar in Sleaford.

The owner of a Sleaford bar which was accused of having a ‘serious drugs issue’ has succeeded in keeping his license after a review hearing.

Marcus Hrubesch of the Solo Bar had faced losing his premises supervisor’s licence or having it restricted after three visits by police with drugs detection equipment identified areas in the bar and toilets showing signs of drug use, particularly cocaine.

Police officers claimed the licensees had been too slow to react to advice offiered and had ‘no confidence in the license holder’s ability to enforce robust solutions to the drugs issue’.

However, Mr Hrubesch argued he had an anti-drugs policy and that any drugs found were similar to traces expected in any other establishment.

The accusations also prompted strong denial from local businesses and organisations, including letters of support from the headteacher of William Alvey School, the Lionesses and a former forensics officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who vouched for Mr Hrubesch’s character and had witnessed no drug abuse in the bar.

The licensing panel last Wednesday decided not to remove the license, instead urging licensing officers and the bar owners to work together more closely on developing a drugs policy for the premises and making sure management and staff undergo further drug awareness training.

Mr Hrubesch said: “Maybe I was a little naive, but I will do my best to be more vigilant in future. I want to work with the police and the authorities.”