Earl’s Court ping-pong bar ‘The Game’, formerly known as ‘Ping’, has closed its doors for good after police were called to the fourth alcohol fuelled brawl in two months.
The club had tried to introduced measures to try to stop frequent violent incidents, but the local police described staff as having ‘lost control’, and following a licence review the club announced it was closing for good.
The Game’s licence was suspended by the council on October 5, following violent clashes on October 3 where members of staff were attacked. During the council hearing, licensing officers provided evidence of serious crime and disorder, which led to the fight which saw doormen injured and property damaged.
According to Inspector Eddie Armstrong, The Game had been seen as a problem venue for some time. “Although police licensing officers had been working with the venue to reduce crime and disorder linked to the premise, this did not have the desired effect” he said.
Owner Stevie Thomas, 29, said: “We are absolutely gutted that we have had to close through no fault of our own. It was a family business and we have had around 30 staff who have now lost their jobs. There had also been complaints from some neighbours who wanted us out and this incident was the last straw.”
In late November Thomas declared the club to be in liquidation, which angered many of the venue’s staff who have yet to be paid for work carried out prior to the club’s license suspension.
DJ Twiggy Garcia, 25, was booked to perform on the 4th October, but arriving at work he found the doors closed. “I turned up to work, and no one was there. Nobody told me what had happened, and no one has bothered to call me since. I didn’t know the club was closed for good until now. I’m still waiting to be paid for gigs I played there in September. It’s a joke.”
Stevie Thomas was not available to comment on the club’s liquidation.