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Kenley pub endures tough first week back

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THE Kenley Hotel has finally reopened its doors but without the manager who caused its four-month closure.

The pub closed down on February 22, amid fears it had succumbed to the recession but the Advertiser soon discovered the council had ordered the pub to shut because manager Chris O'Reilly had closed down the company that held the licence the year before.

However, a new application was submitted under his daughter Aimee O'Reilly's name and the pub reopened last Wednesday.

Unfortunately, the first week did not go smoothly. There was an incident involving a drunk and aggressive 57-year-old woman causing trouble on Ms O'Reilly's first Saturday night in the job.

"This kind of thing sometimes happens in places where there is new management," said Ms O'Reilly.

"A woman had gone to the off-licence and bought a bottle of wine. She was drunk and came into the pub with it. I asked her to leave and she tried to swing a punch."

A customer then called the police in fear that the woman might start a fight.

Croydon Police confirmed they were called to the scene at 9.40pm on Saturday by someone reporting a fight between two women.

They attended the incident but the victim did not want to press charges.

The police then arrested a 57-year-old woman for being drunk and disorderly, took her into the police station and fined her £80 with a fixed penalty notice.

Star Pubs & Bars, the pub's owners, said back in May that Mr O'Reilly and his daughter were "independent businesspeople" and would be "working together".

However, it is now clear Ms O'Reilly will be running the pub without the help of her father, who has moved to work in Middlesex. "The company offered him a job elsewhere so he decided to move," said Ms O'Reilly.

Residents and Steve O'Connell, a Kenley councillor, have suggested the pub should become more of a community hub. Chris Stanley, the chair of the Kenley and District Residents' Association, said: "I don't think an incident like this puts that idea back – these things often happen at pubs.

"Kenley Hotel is an important part of the community but it is also a commercial operation, it needs to work out what would be best for it."

Kenley pub endures tough first week back


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