An Aberdeen bar where football fans were filmed breaching Covid-19 rules could be ordered to close early and banned from showing games – after more than 130 complaints were received.
Videos shot inside the Draft Project on Langstane Place showed revellers hugging and shouting during Scotland’s Euro playoff victory over Serbia.
Aberdeen City Council’s licensing board met on Friday to discuss the bar’s application for a new occasional licence, which expired that day. However, a decision was deferred to a public hearing, giving objectors the chance to have their say.
It meant the premises – which is operated in a large marquee by local pub group PB Devco – was not permitted to open at the weekend.
Occasional licences last for 14 days and a fresh application has to be lodged every fortnight, should the applicant wish to continue operating.
Council chiefs have now confirmed the hearing to decide Draft Project’s fate will take place tomorrow.
Ahead of the meeting, 134 complaints have been received from members of the public, as well as councillors and environmental health chiefs, as well as Police Scotland.
Representation from chief superintendent George Macdonald states conditions should be attached if Draft Project’s licence is granted.
This includes a closing time of 10pm, rather than the 10.30pm permitted by law in level two areas, and enhanced signage telling customers not to take drink off the premises.
And the bar may also be banned from showing “high-profile” live football or playing music – even when allowed to by law.
Mr Macdonald said: “Staff advised officers they had issues with controlling customers who celebrated when Scotland scored a goal. The police officers walked through the premises and customers calmed down with the exception of a few, who were removed from the premises by staff.
“Several more patrons were thereafter removed from the premises due to not adhering to Covid regulations, after being warned by staff. As the football fixture drew to a close, it is estimated there were approximately 70 customers within.
“When Scotland scored the winning penalty, customers celebrated by jumping, hugging, shouting and chanting.
“Staff attempted to step in and break up the groups of people, however it was unachievable due to the number of people and the jubilant mood.
“The premises was cleared of customers after the end of the fixture by staff and additional police units attended to disperse the groups. This was recorded on police body-worn video.
“In light of the above circumstances, the board may wish to consider imposing an additional conditional to the effect that no high profile televised football fixtures will be shown.”
Following the match, the bar was ordered to remove all its televisions – an order which expires next month.
Inspectors from the council’s own Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams said in a report they have visited Draft Project on “a number of occasions” and found it to be “generally compliant” with coronavirus rules.
However, an investigation is continuing into whether it should have been operating on the night in question.
Documents relating to the hearing read: “Another allegation is that on November 12 the marquee at the Draft Project was an indoor venue and therefore should have closed by 8pm.
“In normal use the gable ends of the marquee are removed which makes the walls 54% open and classifies the premises as ‘outdoors’.
“The allegation is that at least one of the gable ends was covered but examination of the video footage is inconclusive. Investigations will continue into this allegation.”
PB Devco did not respond to requests for comment.
The hearing will be held at 2pm on Wednesday.