'Lessons Learnt' After Threat To Barley Mow's Licence

The pub's management talk about serious incident that almost cost them their business


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The Police in Chiswick

There was a time when the The Barley Mow Pub was known as the drinking establishment of choice amongst Chiswick 'Chavs'. However, over the past few years this reputation changed and, particularly when Johnny and Charlie we behind the bar, the pub became more of a place not just to watch rugby games but also somewhere to go and enjoy a meal.

Now run by small pub company Convivial, who also own The Crown and Anchor and The Botanist in Kew amongst others, The Barley Mow was continuing to build on this sponsoring both Chiswick's Rugby League and Union sides until a serious incident in November threatened more than just the pub's reputation.

An urgent review of the The Barley Mow's licence was sought for after Police were called to the pub in the early hours of Sunday 29th November to reports of an assault during which a 27 year old man had been hit in the face with a broken glass.

The incident had happened during a 'private party' held by the pub's former manager Alan. The the victim was Alan's friend. A 35 year old man was subsequently arrested and charged with the alleged assault after he handed himself into Police a few days later.

According to the Police report, the pub's assistant manager said that these parties were a regular occurrence adding that he had 'concerns about how the manager ran the pub but that he had always been good to him'.

"We are genuinely horrified at what’s happened, someone has been assaulted and badly scarred." Convivial's CEO Kris Gumbrell told ChiswickW4.com. "We’ve had nothing like this in our business, we’ve had no serious incidents, you get silly little things happen in a High Street pub but Ali's been a good manager in the way he’s dealt with it."

He continued, "We are all genuinely upset about what has happened and because of all the work that has gone into the pub over the past few years. I know the reputation, people still tell me about the reputation it’s been hard work to change that. When this happened it was a shock to everyone."

Gumbrell went onto to talk about the new measures the company has put in place as a result of meetings with local Police and strong warnings issued by Hounslow Council's Licensing Committee that the pub's licence would be immediately revoked should anything similar ever occur.

"CCTV is the important one, it’s a big investment but that’s not the issue," he said. "There’s been some misunderstanding about the condition that we are required to have door staff. What we are doing is undertaking a programme of SIA training for our staff and management, what we don’t want to do is change which is a really nice atmosphere in here. The last thing our customers want is a sudden change in atmosphere, an imposing presence which can exacerbate problems, it can create tension in the air and that’s the last thing we want.

Other plans include 'isolating' the back of the building onto Barley Mow Passage and putting alarms on the back doors so they cannot be used after a certain time.

"We want to try and keep people out of the passage late at night. There are a lot of small things, but they are important things.

"It’s about lessons learnt, it’s about trying to take positives. We take responsibility for what happens with our business and we’re going to get on with it."

Alan resigned from his position as Manager a few days after the incident. He had been at the Barley Mow for just over three years working as assistant manager with previous owners Johnny and Charlie.

January 15, 2010