Funky Mojoe announces new policy to avoid early weekend closing

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Funky Mojoe is to open until 3am next weekend despite having its hours cut Funky Mojoe is to open until 3am next weekend despite having its hours cut

A nightclub which lost a landmark High Court challenge to a decision to cut its opening hours has revealed it will continue to open until 3am with a ‘bring your own alcohol’ policy.

Funky Mojoe, in High Street, South Woodford, last month failed to overturn a council decision to restrict opening to normal pub hours due to crime and anti-social behaviour.

However, the venue has said it will now bypass the restriction by allowing customers to bring their own alcohol to the venue after 11.30pm.

Licensee Kerry O’Reilly, 35, said losing the High Court bid for a judicial review was a “massive blow”, but said the club will continue to work to overcome any problems.

She said: “We never sat down and said ‘if we lose the case we are going to do this and this’.

“We strongly believed we were going to win the case. I’m not going to lie, it was a massive blow - it was very upsetting.

“But we have found a different way of doing it. I have been looking into the concept of bring your own booze in bars for the last few months as it’s always intrigued me.

“It benefits a lot of people, because it is cheaper.

“I would never break my license – and you’d be stupid to.

“This isn’t an ideal situation, but I still have 50 staff I need to employ.

“The council has been very good and we have always worked very closely – Redbridge council do their job and they do it well and they work with the licensees.

“It's not Funky Mojoe vs. Redbridge Council. I have been working with the council since I was 18 at licensed premises and there has never been that big divide.

“I want to work together and overcome these problems.”

Miss O’Reilly said no nightclub or bar works harder to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum and there have been no violent incidents since February last year.

She add: “Noise testing has been done next door and it came back negative – we gave evidence at the case that noise wasn’t the issue.

“No one actually runs a military operation at a venue like we do.

“When [customers] leave they are constantly told to keep the noise down and they’re taken to their taxis.

“We have a whole dispersal plan which is ridiculous – but it works.”

The council’s licensing committee was shown CCTV evidence of violence and antisocial behaviour outside the venue at the decisive hearing last year.

Miss O’Reilly added: “The last time we had any violence here was February 2013 – that was when I introduced scanning and began working with my solicitor on our dispersal plan.

“The council will agree it is the best run venue in the borough – they will tell you that themselves – they said it in court.”

Many of the problems stem from the venue’s location next door to the sheltered housing at Manor Court Lodge.

But Miss O’Reilly hopes they can find some common ground and function together.

He said: “People will always complain and that’s life unfortunately. But it’s about coming to an understanding where both places can exist – that’s all we’ve ever asked for.

“They want me closed – they do not want this venue open.”

As well as being denied a judicial review, the nightclub was ordered to pay the council’s legal costs of £127,000 and denied the right to appeal.

The venue will continue to open until 3am under the new concept on Fridays and Saturdays from March 8.

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:50pm Mon 3 Mar 14

MorrisHickey says...

Arrogance gone mad.
Arrogance gone mad. MorrisHickey
  • Score: 12

4:55pm Mon 3 Mar 14

spcdust says...

Desperation + Spin = "New concept"

Very delusional comments on the Licensee's part. It will inevitable end in tears.
Desperation + Spin = "New concept" Very delusional comments on the Licensee's part. It will inevitable end in tears. spcdust
  • Score: 12

5:03pm Mon 3 Mar 14

MorrisHickey says...

spcdust wrote:
Desperation + Spin = "New concept"

Very delusional comments on the Licensee's part. It will inevitable end in tears.
................ and hopefully soon for the sake of residents.
[quote][p][bold]spcdust[/bold] wrote: Desperation + Spin = "New concept" Very delusional comments on the Licensee's part. It will inevitable end in tears.[/p][/quote]................ and hopefully soon for the sake of residents. MorrisHickey
  • Score: 10

5:31pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Concerned_Citizen says...

This whole thing smacks of desperation.
They would be better off walking away before it costs them even more money.

Just open a restaurant or cafe instead.
It will probably be more profitable
This whole thing smacks of desperation. They would be better off walking away before it costs them even more money. Just open a restaurant or cafe instead. It will probably be more profitable Concerned_Citizen
  • Score: 14

5:54pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Proud of Woodford Green says...

Concerned_Citizen wrote:
This whole thing smacks of desperation.
They would be better off walking away before it costs them even more money.

Just open a restaurant or cafe instead.
It will probably be more profitable
probably not more profitable because no-one gets a share of the Columbian marching powder take at a restaurant.
[quote][p][bold]Concerned_Citizen[/bold] wrote: This whole thing smacks of desperation. They would be better off walking away before it costs them even more money. Just open a restaurant or cafe instead. It will probably be more profitable[/p][/quote]probably not more profitable because no-one gets a share of the Columbian marching powder take at a restaurant. Proud of Woodford Green
  • Score: 11

6:04pm Mon 3 Mar 14

MorrisHickey says...

Proud of Woodford Green wrote:
Concerned_Citizen wrote:
This whole thing smacks of desperation.
They would be better off walking away before it costs them even more money.

Just open a restaurant or cafe instead.
It will probably be more profitable
probably not more profitable because no-one gets a share of the Columbian marching powder take at a restaurant.
Oh really? And I thought the white powder they were buying was Alka Seltzer.
[quote][p][bold]Proud of Woodford Green[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Concerned_Citizen[/bold] wrote: This whole thing smacks of desperation. They would be better off walking away before it costs them even more money. Just open a restaurant or cafe instead. It will probably be more profitable[/p][/quote]probably not more profitable because no-one gets a share of the Columbian marching powder take at a restaurant.[/p][/quote]Oh really? And I thought the white powder they were buying was Alka Seltzer. MorrisHickey
  • Score: 8

6:23pm Mon 3 Mar 14

spcdust says...

I have to admit I've never figured how they make a profit as essentially it's a Friday / Saturday night venue. With all ongoing legal costs over the years and apparently 50 staff members to pay (really?), how they balance the books is beyond me. Surely far better to open it as a restaurant / pub serving the local community demograph (lots of up young families with a decent disposable income) throughout the week would achieve a higher return?
I have to admit I've never figured how they make a profit as essentially it's a Friday / Saturday night venue. With all ongoing legal costs over the years and apparently 50 staff members to pay (really?), how they balance the books is beyond me. Surely far better to open it as a restaurant / pub serving the local community demograph (lots of up young families with a decent disposable income) throughout the week would achieve a higher return? spcdust
  • Score: 11

6:43pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

spcdust wrote:
I have to admit I've never figured how they make a profit as essentially it's a Friday / Saturday night venue. With all ongoing legal costs over the years and apparently 50 staff members to pay (really?), how they balance the books is beyond me. Surely far better to open it as a restaurant / pub serving the local community demograph (lots of up young families with a decent disposable income) throughout the week would achieve a higher return?
They apparently charge gullible youngsters £1000 for a table and chairs for the night, that is how they make money.
[quote][p][bold]spcdust[/bold] wrote: I have to admit I've never figured how they make a profit as essentially it's a Friday / Saturday night venue. With all ongoing legal costs over the years and apparently 50 staff members to pay (really?), how they balance the books is beyond me. Surely far better to open it as a restaurant / pub serving the local community demograph (lots of up young families with a decent disposable income) throughout the week would achieve a higher return?[/p][/quote]They apparently charge gullible youngsters £1000 for a table and chairs for the night, that is how they make money. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 6

8:26pm Mon 3 Mar 14

TTMAN says...

More tears to come!
More tears to come! TTMAN
  • Score: 5

7:22am Tue 4 Mar 14

SillyCnut says...

A lot of these places exist to make dirty money clean.
A lot of these places exist to make dirty money clean. SillyCnut
  • Score: 6

4:53pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Dave mp says...

SillyCnut wrote:
A lot of these places exist to make dirty money clean.
How true, how very true.
[quote][p][bold]SillyCnut[/bold] wrote: A lot of these places exist to make dirty money clean.[/p][/quote]How true, how very true. Dave mp
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree