Police want Upper Street tapas bar to be stripped of its licence over constant brawls

Canas y Tapas in Upper Street. Picture: Google Maps

Canas y Tapas in Upper Street. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

Police want an unassuming tapas bar in Upper Street to be stripped of its licence after being repeatedly called to deal with its brawling customers.

Canas y Tapas in Upper Street

Canas y Tapas in Upper Street - Credit: Archant

Cañas y Tapas, near Islington Green, is set to have its licence reviewed next week at the request of despairing cops, who have labelled it a “drunken youth club”.

The long arm of the law visited the restaurant more than 20 times in the 12 months leading up to December – and not for the patatas bravas.

A report of a man with a handgun, numerous brawls involving bottles, glasses and knives and wanted suspects escaping via a back door were all documented in the review papers by Islington’s licensing officer Pc Peter Conisbee.

It is claimed an officer was also bitten trying to break up a fight between teenagers, a bouncer was heard threatening to “flatten” a customer and one man abused officers called to deal with an assault – shouting: “I’ll take you all on.”

“There have been a number of fights in or directly outside and associated with the venue over the last year,” Pc Conisbee said. “All have taken place after midnight, many of which have not been reported by the venue.”

Police submitted the review application in November after a 15-person brawl spilled into the oncoming traffic of Upper Street. Pc Conisbee said he had “no faith whatsoever” in the designated premises supervisor (DPS) Andrew Zacharias because of his “nonchalant attitude” and “complete disregard for the law”. As well as requesting tighter licensing restrictions, he called for Mr Zacharias to be removed from his position.

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But in the weeks after the application was made, neither Mr Zacharias, nor the licensee Koncept Tapas Group got in touch with police, and there were another three fights at the venue.

The last was on December 18 when 11 people spilled out to brawl in Upper Street, before walking straight back in. That proved to be the final straw for Pc Conisbee, who then requested the venue be stripped of its licence altogether. He wrote: “We find it wholly irresponsible that eight women and three men who were all involved in the disturbance were able to walk back into the venue unchallenged.

“In the light of the licensee and DPS showing a complete disregard to the licensing objectives, we ask the committee to consider the option of revocation.”

A spokeswoman for Cañas y Tapas told the Gazette the business had been sold but would not say when, why or who the new owner was.