Brixton bar Veranda to re-open after council reviews shooting incident

Paul Bassey at Veranda
Paul Bassey at Veranda

Brixton bar and restaurant Veranda will re-open in January after Lambeth council handed back its licence late last night.

The venue had its licence suspended last month following a non-fatal shooting incident that left a man in hospital with a gunshot wound and a slashed face.

Following a gruelling five-hour licensing meeting at the Town Hall, just yards from the Acre Lane nightspot, councillors voted to allow the bar to reopen in eight weeks under a raft of conditions.

Earlier this morning Brixton Hill councillor Alex Holland (@BrixtonAlex) Tweeted: “After 5 hours #Lambeth Licensing allow Veranda to stay open for business with a reduction in hours and other steps to improve the venue.”

When Veranda re-opens on January 7 it will have a metal arch and ID scanner, and its opening limited to midnight of week nights and 1am Friday and Saturdays.

Co-owner Paul Bassey will also stand down as Designated Premesis Supervisor (DPS) and the business will appoint a new general manager.

Bassey was on duty on October 19 when a shot was fired inside the venue. Staff at the time said they thought the noise was party poppers going off.

Speaking to the Blog in October, Bassey said:  “The most upsetting thing for me is that we have been here for two and a half years and not had one single incident.”

Veranda, in Acre Lane. Picture from Streetview
Veranda, in Acre Lane. Picture from Streetview

Mr Bassey, who is also vice chairman of the Brixton BID partnership, added: “We’ve had customers on the phone asking why we are closed, and they have been reading things about us [in the police reports on the incident], but I want people to know that isn’t how it really is.”

In a report written for Lambeth council’s licensing committee after the incident, police superindent Zander Gibson said: “This is a serious incident where a firearm was taken into Veranda bar and a male was shot, at no point did the venue call police, and the firearm was taken into the venue despite security on the door.”

See more details of the review here.