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Alleged violence in two of Islington’s Ethiopian restaurants could force closure

10:30 01 July 2014

Marathon, in Caledonian Road

Marathon, in Caledonian Road

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A restaurant where police say a punter threatened to kill a bouncer with a kitchen knife and another man suffered a broken jaw after a fight about politics faces closure as the town hall crackdown on drunk violence continues.

Menelik, in Caledonian RoadMenelik, in Caledonian Road

Menelik, an Ethiopian Restaurant in Caledonian Road, Islington, is one of two venues to go before an Islington Council licensing committee tomorrow night (Tuesday) after the police complained about excessive violent crime.

Nearby Marathon, another Ethiopian eaterie, will also have a license review, while XOXO, in Upper Street, Islington, will go before the committee in a couple of weeks after Wednesday’s original hearing was deferred.

At Menelik, a report by Pc Paul Hoppe describes a “number of very serious incidents” in which “excessive alcohol seems to be a common factor”.

Last February someone police say had his tooth knocked out in a fight with a friend, and in May 2013 a man suffered a fractured jaw after five men attacked him, possibly after a disagreement about politics.

Another alleged incident saw a woman get a lift home from some people she met in the bar who tried to steal her phone and money before pushing her out of the car.

And back in 2012 a thug is said to have ran at a bouncer with a kitchen knife because he was banned form the venue after slashing someone’s face open with a broken bottle.

Meanwhile at Marathon, Pc Steven Harrington, noted “levels of violence wholly disproportionate” other venues.

He described a case of common assault after an argument over a chair, a man suffering a broken nose after being dragged into the street by a gang and another fight where one participant breaking leg.

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “We are tacking a very close notice of what is happening in a number of licensed establishments where there is violent crime and fights, people getting injured

“Maybe five or six years ago it wasn’t being taken as seriously as it should have been.

“In some cases we see the trouble later on, people getting too drunk and starting fights or become victims of crime. Then we would just scale back the hours.

“But in other cases we think they are being mismanaged and we will try to revoke the licence.

“It’s deliberate policy and one we will continue.”

At the time of writing, no one from either venue had responded to the Gazette’s request for a comment.

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