A late-night pub that had the "worst record" of incidents in Norfolk will have to stop serving earlier after Norfolk police requested a review of its licence.

Luck, Lust Liquor and Grind, formerly known as Peggotty's, avoided being shut down all together but has been told to call last orders at 1am, despite remaining open until 4am.

But owner Gail Smith and her barrister have said they will appeal the "flawed" decision, which they claim was made without any "evidential basis".

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Gail Smith, outside another venue she runs in Gorleston, MixsmithsGail Smith, outside another venue she runs in Gorleston, Mixsmiths (Image: James Weeds)

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Duncan Craig, representing Ms Smith, said: "In my 11 years of practice this is possibly the most flawed decision a client has been subject to. We will be appealing and as such the restriction will not take effect until the appeal is determined.

"The committee has plucked 1am out of thin air without any evidential basis whatsoever."

A total of 80 police incidents were reported at or around the pub in just a 12-month period, resulting in officers calling for the venue's hours to be cut to reduce the issues.

When the proceedings started against the bar it had the "worst record of incidents across the county" according to Chris Brooks, Norfolk police's licencing officer.

Ms Smith, who runs two other venues, argued she and her team had gone "above and beyond" to make improvements and that there had been a huge drop in incidents in 2023.

This included having door staff seven days a week and stricter rules on entry including mandatory searches and refusal if customers were deemed too drunk.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The bar is open from 10am to 4am in King Street, great YarmouthThe bar is open from 10am to 4am in King Street, great Yarmouth (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Craig said the majority of problems followed the Covid lockdown, where people "went a bit nuts" when pubs and clubs reopened. 

It was also the only late-night venue, open till 4am, operating at the time.

He said Ms Smith's record showed she was a "responsible operator" and that the review of her licence had come as a "shock" to her after making positive changes to the bar.

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But a police report to the council’s licensing committee alleged that problems persisted and people, "particularly women" were being left in a vulnerable state and a review was needed.

It highlighted one night in particular where a woman was found at the back of the venue passed out and had "soiled herself", according to the report.

The police used the bar's incident log as evidence of continued high levels of drunkenness at the venue, highlighting occasions when people had been refused service.

But this was dismissed as being inappropriate an argument by Mr Craig, arguing Ms Smith shouldn't be penalised for being a responsible operator and maintaining good record keeping.

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Great Yarmouth Mercury: The decision was made at Great Yarmouth's town hallThe decision was made at Great Yarmouth's town hall (Image: Newsquest)

In her closing statement, Ms Smith said: "We took on the bar two days before the first lockdown was announced.

"When we reopened in 2022 it was very challenging and had to work quickly to get to the bottom of these issues.

"The last thing I want to have to do is to tell my staff they don't have a job anymore."

After hearing Ms Smith's defence and Norfolk police's evidence, Great Yarmouth Council's licencing committee decided to take action to reduce the hours the bar could serve alcohol.

Conditions to limit the impact of noise from the venue were also agreed as part of the verdict.

The future of the bar remains in doubt until the appeal is decided, which will likely be next year.


'A lively pub'

Pouring pints since the late 19th century, Peggotty's has a colourful past and is known by locals to be a 'lively' venue situated in the heart of town.

It is named after Clara Peggotty, a character from the Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield.

It has changed hands many times over the years but was taken over by Gail Smith only a few days before the government announced the UK would enter into a Covid lockdown.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Luck, Lust, Liquor and Grinds in King Street, Great YarmouthLuck, Lust, Liquor and Grinds in King Street, Great Yarmouth (Image: George Thompson, LDR)


Incidents at Luck, Lust, Liquor and Grind

The police report details around 80 "incidents, visits and interventions" between July 2022 and May 2023.

Recent incidents include several people who left the premises being involved in a "mass disturbance" on May 26.

This resulted in several people being assaulted and one woman being arrested.

On April 16, police recorded three incidents at the venue, with one woman found on the pavement on Greyfriars Way in a puddle of her own urine and vomit. 

On the same evening, a man was knocked unconscious while queuing to enter the venue, and later another man punched a bouncer.

A separate report by the environmental protection team at GYBC set out seven noise complaints that had been made to the council, including three in June 2023.