Licence challenge as 'Spag' fails underage booze test

The Advertiser Series: La Spaghettata on Saddler Street in Durham La Spaghettata on Saddler Street in Durham

A POPULAR nightspot has again been caught selling alcohol to underage teens.

Bar staff at La Spaghettata twice sold booze to a 16-year-old girl working as part of an undercover police sting.

Now Durham Police want the bar to stop serving at midnight, two hours earlier than currently, and close completely half an hour later.

A Durham County Council licensing committee will rule on the application on Tuesday, September 9.

Spag, as Fabio Ciampolillo’s Italian restaurant at 66 Saddler Street, Durham, is commonly known, has attracted police attention for some years.

Last year, officers only abandoned an attempt to close the venue after Mr Ciampolillo agreed to bring forward closing time by an hour on Fridays and Saturdays to 2am.

Police say Spag was the venue for further violence on March 3 and June 27 this year, when a man was headbutted and suffered a broken nose and an assault took place, respectively.

Under the so-called test purchase operation, a 16-year-old girl was allowed to buy two vodka and cokes without being asked to prove her age on March 15 and April 5.

Spag previously failed such a test in October 2012.

However, several neighbours have written in support of Mr Ciampolillo, saying how concerned he is at the issue and how hard he is working to tackle it.

They include Wendy Buttleman, of Toni and Guy hairdressers, David Armstrong, of Ribchesters accountants, and Patrick Solan, landlord of The Shakespeare Tavern.

The council committee will meet in Spennymoor’s council chamber, on Green Lane, on Tuesday, September 9, at 10am.

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