Leith pub stripped of takeaway alcohol licence due to anti-social behaviour during Covid-19 lockdown

The Iona Bar in Leith has had its off-sales licence removed following reports of anti-social behaviour at the pub during the lockdown.

The decision to vary the licence in order to prevent public nuisance was made by the Licensing Board on August 6.

Footage taken earlier outside the Easter Road boozer showed a crowd of people drinking take-away pints and sitting in groups.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The resident who filmed them said she was given abuse for catching some of the behaviour on camera.

Drinkers were seen gathering outside Iona Bar in Easter Road with take-away pints before police had to disperse them.

Police Scotland submitted an application to review its premise licence after complaints from neighbours about customers loitering after purchases of off-sales alcohol, consuming it outside the pub and not adhering to physical distancing guidelines.

Following consideration, it was agreed that the licence would be varied to remove off-sales, meaning the pub will no longer be able to sell alcohol to take away.

The Iona retains its on-trade licence, allowing customers to eat and drink inside while following guidelines.

Licensing regulations have been relaxed to support businesses to operate in different ways during the COVID-19 lockdown, one of which has been to permit pubs and bars to operate off-sales, giving them the ability to sell bottles of beer, wine and other alcohol for consumption off the premises.

Cllr Norman Work, Licensing Board Convenor, said: “There is no doubt that the lockdown has been difficult for hospitality businesses, however, we expect all licence holders to operate their premises responsibly.

"We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour within communities and we will take action against establishments seen to be abusing the licensing regulations.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

Subscribe to the Edinburgh Evening News online and enjoy unlimited access to trusted, fact-checked news and sport from Edinburgh and the Lothians. Visit https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.

By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director