A tiki-style bar in the city centre has had its license stripped by Manchester City Council after it was discovered the venue was operating as a nightclub.
Mahiki, on Central Street near St Peter’s Square and Albert Square, had received multiple warnings about its refusal to adhere to COVID regulations.
The bar apparently assured the council that it would establish a one-way system, lower music volume and enforce a ban on dancing.
But, according to Manchester City Council, ‘it became apparent that the owner had no intention of enforcing any of these precautions.’
Mahiki was found to be operating as a nightclub on two separate occasions during the summer, with ‘no efforts being made to ensure social distancing or take customer details for tracing’.
Earlier this week, Mahiki was officially stripped of its licence, prohibiting it from serving alcohol to the public.
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods for Manchester City Council, said: “Sadly, in the case of Mahiki it was clear its owner had zero interest in doing what was not only expected by us, but what was the morally correct thing to do.
“We do not like to bring the hammer down as we want to be a Council that works with venues to resolve issues amicably. However, in this case we had no choice. A summary licensing review is a tool we use in only the most serious of circumstances, and stripping a venue of its licence is not something we do with any pleasure.
“But, we have to make clear that the safety of Manchester residents is paramount and we will take any steps necessary to ensure that.”
Superintendent Chris Hill, of Greater Manchester Police, said that the case of Mahiki should serve as a warning to other venues that refuse to comply with regulations.
“The health and safety of our communities is our priority and unfortunately in this case, the business continued to flout the rules we had in place,” he added.
“We will not hesitate to take action against businesses putting the health and welfare of their customers and their own staff at risk, and we will use our powers and legislation to the full to ensure premises are operating safely.”