'Eastenders' pub is banned from hosting live music following complaints of loud karaokes and lock-ins
PUBLISHED: 10:03 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:13 08 April 2019
A pub in Limehouse believed to have inspired Eastenders’ Queen Vic has had its opening hours slashed following noise complaints from neighbours.
The Queen’s Head in York Square, will also no longer be allowed to host live music following a Tower Hamlets licensing committee last week.
One resident living next door complained late-night karaoke renditions of Mr Bojangles, Rapper’s Delight and New York New York had prevented her “whole family from sleeping”.
Others claimed that the pub often stayed open far past its midnight closing time.
The committee heard residents were disturbed by groups of people crowded outside the bar and “loud karaoke with multi-coloured disco lighting”.
There had been no complaints about the pub, which opened in 1855, before new landlord Thomas Jeffries took over in October, the council heard.
Pc Mark Perry said that at 1am on December 22 he visited and found 20 customers locked in after hours.
He claimed the supervisor, Valentina Thomas, offered him a drink. When he turned it down she told him it would help him to relax.
Solicitor Horatio Waller, speaking on behalf of the Queen’s Head, said Ms Thomas had been removed from her role and the pub had undergone extensive soundproofing since the complaints.
He added: “My client is in active discussions with a new operator who is proposing a gastro-style pub. We have listened to concern and are taking active steps to bring in a new style of operation.”
The Grade II-listed building was visited by the Queen Mother in 1987.
An iconic photo of her pulling a pint behind the bar is now on display in pub’s across the country and the Royal is said to have joked the bitter she tried there was “far better than any champagne”.
After Eastenders was first shown in 1985, it was reported that Albert Square’s Queen’s Vic was based on the venue.
Pub management agreed police proposals to stop all live music and close by 11pm every night.
The bar will also adopt a “gastro pub-style” in future.
Licensing committee chair councillor Dan Tomlinson said: “We agree with all the police recommendations. It’s good to see everyone coming to an agreement so amicably.”