South Woodford's Funky Mojoe will remain closed until the outcome of its 'very last' attempt to retain late licence.

Nightclub closes pending 'very last' challenge to hours cut

Licensee Kerry O'Reilly, second from right, with Funky Mojoe staff

Venue would have been celebrating its sixth birthday in July

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

A controversial nightclub has closed pending the outcome of an appeal against a cut to its opening hours.

Funky Mojoe in High Road, South Wooford, recently lodged an application with the Court of Appeal after the High Court rejected a judicial review.

Redbridge Council had limited the club’s opening times to normal pub hours after being presented with evidence of crime and anti-social behaviour.

Director and licensee, Kerry O’Reilly, said the latest move was the “very last” attempt to regain a late licence.

The nightclub has not opened on a Friday or Saturday for the last two weeks after it announced a new ‘bring your own bottle’ policy to bypass the opening restriction.

Ms O’Reilly said: “It worked well and I still think it was a good idea as it was a cheaper night out for everyone but it was something we couldn’t sustain and affected the overall atmosphere.”

As a result of the closure, over 50 members of staff have lost their jobs and, despite some successful efforts to place staff in other venues, redundancies have been made.

Ms O’Reilly contiued: “It is disgusting that 56 people have lost their job.

“It’s alright for me and my security to find new jobs, but I’ve got two of my staff in the process of losing their homes.”

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She also added the local economy will suffer as a result of the closure.

Ms Reilly added: “The local economy will be massively affected.

“Everyone came to Mojoes after they’d been to the pub or out for a meal. Nowhere else in the area has the capacity, it’s a real shame.

“All of the businesses in Woodford and South Woodford supported us and most of them benefited in some way because of our presence.”

Since opening in July 2008, the club has been plagued with complaints from nearby residents about noise, drunk and disorderly behaviour and mass brawls in the early hours.

The High Court recently ruled that the club must pay Redbridge Council’s legal cost of £120,000.
It was the first time the court had decided on a nightclub’s licence.

Despite huge financial costs and uncertainty of the club’s future, Ms O’Reilly said she had no regrets.

She added: “At the end of the day, Redbridge Council granted me the licence.

“I understand some of the residents’ concerns but I’ve got CCTV evidence to say differently.

“We ran that place like it was a military operation and tried our absolute best to make sure there were no concerns.

“The council aren’t out to shut businesses; they just did what was in their power and listened to the residents to help them.

“Closing is not something we wanted to do and over the years we have worked closely with the council and the police. Since February last year, we’ve not had any trouble.

“The nightclub has been hit quite badly financially as solicitor bills are not cheap. 

“It’s been a headache but we’ve coped in the best possible way. It has all been worth it, we had five and a half fantastic years. ”

Ms O’Reilly will continue her role as director at LocoLounge in Station Road, Chingford, alongside owner Daniel Keefe.

Mr Keefe welcomed her expertise.

The 24 year-old said: “She has 15 years experience and we can trust her. She is the best at her job.”

Comments (22)

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2:17pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Proud of Woodford Green says...

Local economy will be massively effected, claims Miss Reilly.

Yes - drug dealers are weeping on the steering wheels of the BMWs, a local beauty Salon has cancelled the articulated lorry load of fake tan and gel nails and the nearest Primark has put up a going out of business sign.

It is genuinely sad to hear that people will lose jobs, but in a transient business, you live with the bad and the good times.

Interesting to see now where the circus moves on to.
Local economy will be massively effected, claims Miss Reilly. Yes - drug dealers are weeping on the steering wheels of the BMWs, a local beauty Salon has cancelled the articulated lorry load of fake tan and gel nails and the nearest Primark has put up a going out of business sign. It is genuinely sad to hear that people will lose jobs, but in a transient business, you live with the bad and the good times. Interesting to see now where the circus moves on to. Proud of Woodford Green
  • Score: 27

2:22pm Mon 31 Mar 14

MorrisHickey says...

Closed down, now move on.
Closed down, now move on. MorrisHickey
  • Score: 15

2:37pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

Maybe they a Stark Warning regarding their 'Bring a Bottle' ploys from the licensing department, which will be mentioned at their hopeless appeal. They have had their years of bringing misery to the neighbour hood and it is right that they should just move on now.

Hopefully, the shootings, stabbings, assaults with motor vehicles, cones, bouncers patrolling with dogs, litter, street toilets use, fake tans and white teeth will all just be a distant memory. Hopefully a nice Weatherspoons will take the place over.
Maybe they a Stark Warning regarding their 'Bring a Bottle' ploys from the licensing department, which will be mentioned at their hopeless appeal. They have had their years of bringing misery to the neighbour hood and it is right that they should just move on now. Hopefully, the shootings, stabbings, assaults with motor vehicles, cones, bouncers patrolling with dogs, litter, street toilets use, fake tans and white teeth will all just be a distant memory. Hopefully a nice Weatherspoons will take the place over. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 7

2:40pm Mon 31 Mar 14

E18 resident says...

56 jobs lost is the club's own fault. The operators could have moved to a licensed business model that was of benefit to the local community like a family gastro pub or diner operation and created full time employment. Instead of this they arrogantly pressed on with a niched nightclub business for 'z-list-orange-peopl
e'. Trying to place the social responsibility for job losses with the council is ridiculous.
Also glad to see the 'bring your own bottle and listen to the radio' nights did not have any appeal for the punters. New concept = desperation under a different name.
Let's hope the court rejects any appeal and they pay Redbridge the vast sums awarded in costs.
56 jobs lost is the club's own fault. The operators could have moved to a licensed business model that was of benefit to the local community like a family gastro pub or diner operation and created full time employment. Instead of this they arrogantly pressed on with a niched nightclub business for 'z-list-orange-peopl e'. Trying to place the social responsibility for job losses with the council is ridiculous. Also glad to see the 'bring your own bottle and listen to the radio' nights did not have any appeal for the punters. New concept = desperation under a different name. Let's hope the court rejects any appeal and they pay Redbridge the vast sums awarded in costs. E18 resident
  • Score: 20

2:59pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

E18 resident wrote:
56 jobs lost is the club's own fault. The operators could have moved to a licensed business model that was of benefit to the local community like a family gastro pub or diner operation and created full time employment. Instead of this they arrogantly pressed on with a niched nightclub business for 'z-list-orange-peopl

e'. Trying to place the social responsibility for job losses with the council is ridiculous.
Also glad to see the 'bring your own bottle and listen to the radio' nights did not have any appeal for the punters. New concept = desperation under a different name.
Let's hope the court rejects any appeal and they pay Redbridge the vast sums awarded in costs.
Would be interesting to see if these 56 jobs were actually on the PAYE payroll and tallied in with the tax returns.
[quote][p][bold]E18 resident[/bold] wrote: 56 jobs lost is the club's own fault. The operators could have moved to a licensed business model that was of benefit to the local community like a family gastro pub or diner operation and created full time employment. Instead of this they arrogantly pressed on with a niched nightclub business for 'z-list-orange-peopl e'. Trying to place the social responsibility for job losses with the council is ridiculous. Also glad to see the 'bring your own bottle and listen to the radio' nights did not have any appeal for the punters. New concept = desperation under a different name. Let's hope the court rejects any appeal and they pay Redbridge the vast sums awarded in costs.[/p][/quote]Would be interesting to see if these 56 jobs were actually on the PAYE payroll and tallied in with the tax returns. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 12

11:35am Tue 1 Apr 14

Dave mp says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
E18 resident wrote:
56 jobs lost is the club's own fault. The operators could have moved to a licensed business model that was of benefit to the local community like a family gastro pub or diner operation and created full time employment. Instead of this they arrogantly pressed on with a niched nightclub business for 'z-list-orange-peopl


e'. Trying to place the social responsibility for job losses with the council is ridiculous.
Also glad to see the 'bring your own bottle and listen to the radio' nights did not have any appeal for the punters. New concept = desperation under a different name.
Let's hope the court rejects any appeal and they pay Redbridge the vast sums awarded in costs.
Would be interesting to see if these 56 jobs were actually on the PAYE payroll and tallied in with the tax returns.
Most of the jobs were probably second income cash in hand jobs anyway.
Any genuine full-time jobs were probably only one or two genuine employees and these are the ones to feel sorry for as losing their job will/could endanger any mortgage they may have.
Lets hope a Wetherspoons with sensible hours takes its place.
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]E18 resident[/bold] wrote: 56 jobs lost is the club's own fault. The operators could have moved to a licensed business model that was of benefit to the local community like a family gastro pub or diner operation and created full time employment. Instead of this they arrogantly pressed on with a niched nightclub business for 'z-list-orange-peopl e'. Trying to place the social responsibility for job losses with the council is ridiculous. Also glad to see the 'bring your own bottle and listen to the radio' nights did not have any appeal for the punters. New concept = desperation under a different name. Let's hope the court rejects any appeal and they pay Redbridge the vast sums awarded in costs.[/p][/quote]Would be interesting to see if these 56 jobs were actually on the PAYE payroll and tallied in with the tax returns.[/p][/quote]Most of the jobs were probably second income cash in hand jobs anyway. Any genuine full-time jobs were probably only one or two genuine employees and these are the ones to feel sorry for as losing their job will/could endanger any mortgage they may have. Lets hope a Wetherspoons with sensible hours takes its place. Dave mp
  • Score: 12

12:01pm Tue 1 Apr 14

spcdust says...

Please, not a Wetherspoons. A good all day pub serving quality food, wine and ales would likely work in this area. And also, no flat screen TV's showing the footy.
Please, not a Wetherspoons. A good all day pub serving quality food, wine and ales would likely work in this area. And also, no flat screen TV's showing the footy. spcdust
  • Score: 5

12:10pm Tue 1 Apr 14

MorrisHickey says...

spcdust wrote:
Please, not a Wetherspoons. A good all day pub serving quality food, wine and ales would likely work in this area. And also, no flat screen TV's showing the footy.
I agree - the last thing South Wodford requires just now is a Greasyspoons.
[quote][p][bold]spcdust[/bold] wrote: Please, not a Wetherspoons. A good all day pub serving quality food, wine and ales would likely work in this area. And also, no flat screen TV's showing the footy.[/p][/quote]I agree - the last thing South Wodford requires just now is a Greasyspoons. MorrisHickey
  • Score: 2

12:42pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Concerned_Citizen says...

A decent American Style Diner or a good Gastropub please.

We certainly don't need (in no particular order)
- Turkish Charcoal Grill
- Pizza Express/Prezzo/Zizzi type chain
- Beauty Salon
A decent American Style Diner or a good Gastropub please. We certainly don't need (in no particular order) - Turkish Charcoal Grill - Pizza Express/Prezzo/Zizzi type chain - Beauty Salon Concerned_Citizen
  • Score: 8

1:14pm Tue 1 Apr 14

It's good to talk says...

It was in the wrong place and should never have been given a license. The old Indian restaurant near the garage on the Harlow roundabout is vacant, no residential properties around and no one to upset.
It was in the wrong place and should never have been given a license. The old Indian restaurant near the garage on the Harlow roundabout is vacant, no residential properties around and no one to upset. It's good to talk
  • Score: 15

2:19pm Tue 1 Apr 14

T. Watts says...

spcdust wrote:
Please, not a Wetherspoons. A good all day pub serving quality food, wine and ales would likely work in this area. And also, no flat screen TV's showing the footy.
Wetherspoons not good enough for you then, Prince Charles???
[quote][p][bold]spcdust[/bold] wrote: Please, not a Wetherspoons. A good all day pub serving quality food, wine and ales would likely work in this area. And also, no flat screen TV's showing the footy.[/p][/quote]Wetherspoons not good enough for you then, Prince Charles??? T. Watts
  • Score: 5

2:35pm Tue 1 Apr 14

HassanShah1 says...

@VillageCranberry ALLAS WE MEET AGAIN! BIGOT! 'Funky Mojoes' has actually provided a huge amount of revenue for South Woodford, I know this as I am a member of the local government, and this revenue has been reinvested into the community via the forms of Social housing and education. It's also created awareness for South Woodford as a tourist attraction through the forms of hit TV show 'The Only Way Is Essex', It's licensing is most likely to be retained by the nightclub because of this factor.

Yours sincerely,
Hassan Shah (Your arch-nemisis)
@VillageCranberry ALLAS WE MEET AGAIN! BIGOT! 'Funky Mojoes' has actually provided a huge amount of revenue for South Woodford, I know this as I am a member of the local government, and this revenue has been reinvested into the community via the forms of Social housing and education. It's also created awareness for South Woodford as a tourist attraction through the forms of hit TV show 'The Only Way Is Essex', It's licensing is most likely to be retained by the nightclub because of this factor. Yours sincerely, Hassan Shah (Your arch-nemisis) HassanShah1
  • Score: -20

4:11pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Dave mp says...

HassanShah1 wrote:
@VillageCranberry ALLAS WE MEET AGAIN! BIGOT! 'Funky Mojoes' has actually provided a huge amount of revenue for South Woodford, I know this as I am a member of the local government, and this revenue has been reinvested into the community via the forms of Social housing and education. It's also created awareness for South Woodford as a tourist attraction through the forms of hit TV show 'The Only Way Is Essex', It's licensing is most likely to be retained by the nightclub because of this factor.

Yours sincerely,
Hassan Shah (Your arch-nemisis)
Lets all hope you are WRONG.
[quote][p][bold]HassanShah1[/bold] wrote: @VillageCranberry ALLAS WE MEET AGAIN! BIGOT! 'Funky Mojoes' has actually provided a huge amount of revenue for South Woodford, I know this as I am a member of the local government, and this revenue has been reinvested into the community via the forms of Social housing and education. It's also created awareness for South Woodford as a tourist attraction through the forms of hit TV show 'The Only Way Is Essex', It's licensing is most likely to be retained by the nightclub because of this factor. Yours sincerely, Hassan Shah (Your arch-nemisis)[/p][/quote]Lets all hope you are WRONG. Dave mp
  • Score: 12

4:15pm Tue 1 Apr 14

answer= says...

Strong rumour from my friends at the town hall is that the Qurani Murkuz Trust of mulberry way are looking at it as a new community centre.Good choice imho.
Strong rumour from my friends at the town hall is that the Qurani Murkuz Trust of mulberry way are looking at it as a new community centre.Good choice imho. answer=
  • Score: -3

4:26pm Tue 1 Apr 14

E18 resident says...

HassanShah1 wrote:
@VillageCranberry ALLAS WE MEET AGAIN! BIGOT! 'Funky Mojoes' has actually provided a huge amount of revenue for South Woodford, I know this as I am a member of the local government, and this revenue has been reinvested into the community via the forms of Social housing and education. It's also created awareness for South Woodford as a tourist attraction through the forms of hit TV show 'The Only Way Is Essex', It's licensing is most likely to be retained by the nightclub because of this factor. Yours sincerely, Hassan Shah (Your arch-nemisis)
Really!! The only form of direct income to local government would be via business rates. Are you seriously suggesting that this has paid for social housing and contributed to the running of schools? The income to South Woodford via Redbridge Council will have been spent on legal enforcement, policing and court costs. And do local government members really sign off as 'your arch nemesis' ? And where exactly are all the tourists in South Woodford? Utter garbage!
[quote][p][bold]HassanShah1[/bold] wrote: @VillageCranberry ALLAS WE MEET AGAIN! BIGOT! 'Funky Mojoes' has actually provided a huge amount of revenue for South Woodford, I know this as I am a member of the local government, and this revenue has been reinvested into the community via the forms of Social housing and education. It's also created awareness for South Woodford as a tourist attraction through the forms of hit TV show 'The Only Way Is Essex', It's licensing is most likely to be retained by the nightclub because of this factor. Yours sincerely, Hassan Shah (Your arch-nemisis)[/p][/quote]Really!! The only form of direct income to local government would be via business rates. Are you seriously suggesting that this has paid for social housing and contributed to the running of schools? The income to South Woodford via Redbridge Council will have been spent on legal enforcement, policing and court costs. And do local government members really sign off as 'your arch nemesis' ? And where exactly are all the tourists in South Woodford? Utter garbage! E18 resident
  • Score: 18

9:02pm Tue 1 Apr 14

snacker says...

HassanShah1 wrote:
@VillageCranberry ALLAS WE MEET AGAIN! BIGOT! 'Funky Mojoes' has actually provided a huge amount of revenue for South Woodford, I know this as I am a member of the local government, and this revenue has been reinvested into the community via the forms of Social housing and education. It's also created awareness for South Woodford as a tourist attraction through the forms of hit TV show 'The Only Way Is Essex', It's licensing is most likely to be retained by the nightclub because of this factor.

Yours sincerely,
Hassan Shah (Your arch-nemisis)
And the band played, "Believe it if you like....."
[quote][p][bold]HassanShah1[/bold] wrote: @VillageCranberry ALLAS WE MEET AGAIN! BIGOT! 'Funky Mojoes' has actually provided a huge amount of revenue for South Woodford, I know this as I am a member of the local government, and this revenue has been reinvested into the community via the forms of Social housing and education. It's also created awareness for South Woodford as a tourist attraction through the forms of hit TV show 'The Only Way Is Essex', It's licensing is most likely to be retained by the nightclub because of this factor. Yours sincerely, Hassan Shah (Your arch-nemisis)[/p][/quote]And the band played, "Believe it if you like....." snacker
  • Score: 8

9:58pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Ferdy54 says...

Don't worry. It'll probably be a mosque!!! :-)
Don't worry. It'll probably be a mosque!!! :-) Ferdy54
  • Score: 3

11:26am Wed 2 Apr 14

KatieHPhoto says...

Why can't they just go back to the original plan for this place and make it into a champagne bar.

A nice grand piano in the corner, playing soothing classical music whilst people sip at (not to expensive!) champagnes.

No DJs, no loud music, no orange faces.
Why can't they just go back to the original plan for this place and make it into a champagne bar. A nice grand piano in the corner, playing soothing classical music whilst people sip at (not to expensive!) champagnes. No DJs, no loud music, no orange faces. KatieHPhoto
  • Score: 7

11:27am Wed 2 Apr 14

KatieHPhoto says...

*too
*too KatieHPhoto
  • Score: 1

10:39am Thu 3 Apr 14

Ferdy54 says...

Don't forget about their great claim to fame.

Those thick people from that revolting 'Essex' programme go there!!!!!! :-\
Don't forget about their great claim to fame. Those thick people from that revolting 'Essex' programme go there!!!!!! :-\ Ferdy54
  • Score: 3

10:46am Thu 3 Apr 14

Howard Wolowitz says...

Joey could not understand when he was in the southern hemisphere how he could come from the northern hemisphere because he was from east London.
Joey could not understand when he was in the southern hemisphere how he could come from the northern hemisphere because he was from east London. Howard Wolowitz
  • Score: 2

8:47pm Thu 3 Apr 14

kasiab84 says...

what we really need is a PROPER English pub thats serves real and quality English dishes, decent ales etc unless there is one in the area and I've not been?
what we really need is a PROPER English pub thats serves real and quality English dishes, decent ales etc unless there is one in the area and I've not been? kasiab84
  • Score: 2

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