New Camden Town bar wins licence after cutting down on noise

Camden Town Hall

Bosses of a new Camden Town bar said they have worked hard to keep the noise down after police ordered them to turn the music off.

Kiss the Sky got a verbal warning in January because it was busy when police visited at 1am and “music was loud, people were standing around drinking, and no food could be seen” – despite its licence being for a restaurant.

In evidence to the licensing committee, police said: “This was clearly a late night bar with a DJ and amplified music and as such breached numerous conditions on the licence.”

The venue had recently taken over a former restaurant. 

The owners were successful in their licence application after explaining how they have worked to sort out the problems when it opened.

PC Christopher Malone told councillors it was not the fault of the police or other authorities that the new owner had “not done his homework properly” to discover that the existing licence was for a restaurant.

It is on Camden High Street, in a cumulative impact area dubbed a “crime hotspot” by police.

In February, officers served the new owner with a formal warning as they saw “approximately” 15 people standing and drinking when the licence did not allow vertical drinking.

Camden Council’s noise team also investigated a complaint from a resident in the flat above the bar  about loud music.

Lee Perella from the sound team said there was noise vibration in the upstairs flat and bass noise and the resident has not lodged any more complaints since the bar put in soundproofing.

New owner Kashka Ray said it was a music, arts and events venue.

He told the licensing panel: “We do our uptmost best to ensure there are no problems in the venue.”

He explained he is also checking in with the resident who complained about noise in January and they have not raised any issues since the team installed a sound limiter.

“I’m very confident there won’t be any complaints going forward.”

Ray said a breach of the limit of people standing up “can happens in seconds”.

Lawyer Chris Grunert said the Camden Town cumulative impact area is “a bath full to the brim” but the new licence would not extend the opening hours and would stick to a capacity of 50 customers.

He said there were issues at the start of the year but the owner was “completely apologetic” and met with the police to put problems right.

Since then, there have been 25 evenings under temporary licences without problems.

Cllr Sharon Hardwick found it “concerning” that operators could take on a venue and breach licence conditions.

Grunert said the breaches were about more than eight people standing. He said if was “very difficult for my client to manage”.

He added the venue has been run “in the correct manner” since then.

In her deliberations, Cllr Hardwick said the venue “sounded more entertainment-led” and the panel granted the new licence after getting reassurances about any noise impact in the flat upstairs.

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