March 8 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The future of Funky Mojoe remains uncertain after it was shut at the weekend when its opening hours were slashed.
A staff member speaking to the Recorder last week denied closure rumours but the bar did not open on Friday and Saturday night.
Managers have not commented about the night club’s future since they lost a judicial review in the High Court but an official Twitter account promised an announcement tomorrow (Thursday).
The South Woodford bar, known for its appearances on reality show The Only Way is Essex, was told it must bring in Redbridge Council’s new licensing conditions following years of residents’ complaints over noise and anti-social behaviour.
If it opens, it must operate “pub hours” - serving until 11pm Sunday to Thursday, and 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays - compared to 2.30am previously.
Residents who complained of years of misery caused drinkers from the club, in High Road, claimed a victory but it was a blow for Funky Mojoe customers.
In a poll on the Recorder website, 34 per cent of voters said they went to the club and thought the new hours were too harsh.
A further 29pc said they did not go there but still find the rules too stringent.
About 27pc said the cut hours were fair but they were not customers and 10pc said even though they went to the bar, they agreed with the ruling.
Funky Mojoe had encouraged their followers on social networks to vote.
Throwing out the appeal and ordering the club to pay the council costs of £55,000, Judge Jeff Blackett dismissed Funky Mojoe’s case as “entirely without merit”.
Lawyers had attempted to argue that the council’s licensing review was invalidated by administrative errors but the judge said the approach would have “absurd” consequences.
He praised the work of the council’s licensing sub-committee and the judge at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court that dismissed Funky Mojoe’s first appeal.