Chipping Sodbury pub under review amid underage drinking claims

Gazette Series: The Grapes in Chipping Sodbury The Grapes in Chipping Sodbury

MANAGERS of a Chipping Sodbury pub accused of repeatedly serving underage teenagers have hit back at what they believe is a ‘smear campaign’.

The new management team at The Grapes, on Rounceval Street, say they are shocked by the allegations made against them which also include allowing high stakes gambling and drug use.

Leaseholder Sam Postlehwaite, who has run the business with partner Kerri Tolhurst since Christmas, told the Gazette: “We don’t know why but we have been accused of everything. We just want people to know we are completely above board and we are here to stay."

Mr Postlehwaite said poker games at the pub were limited to a maximum total bet of £100 and that CCTV cameras had been installed in the bar two weeks ago.

“We have invited councillors in to see what we are doing and we had a local Police Community Support Officer here on Sunday to check the cameras and he found nothing,” said Mr Postlehwaite.

The rebuttal comes after several parents contacted South Gloucestershire Council’s licensing department and the police after their children came home drunk saying they had been served at The Grapes.

One mum from Yate, who asked not to be named, said her 14-year-old daughter had been served at the pub three times despite showing staff her photograph and informing them of her age.

“Initially she was served in early January,” she said. “A few weeks later she went out with her friend and again came home drunk at around 9.30pm. I asked her where she had been served and she said The Grapes so my husband went in and spoke to them, showed a photo and they denied it although they have since served her again.

“I am now having to refuse her money and freedom so I know she is safe.”

Added the mother, who has registered complaints with the council and the police more than six times: “Having spoken to other people I have discovered that at least a further seven people have reported various issues.

“I believe this place should be closed down as soon as possible.”

Paul Jackson, whose 16-year-old son came home drunk from the pub, said: "He isn't allowed out at all now. I have complained to the police and told they are investigating but something needs to be done about it."

A spokesman for South Gloucestershire Council said: “We aware of concerns regarding underage consumption of alcohol at The Grapes and have discussed the matter with the licensee in liaison with Avon and Somerset police.

"As a result of this, the licensee is introducing a number of additional measures to ensure enforcement of the relevant underage drinking provisions including keeping a ‘refusals book’ to record refusals and introducing CCTV into the bar area.

"We will keep the matter under review.”

Comments (3)

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6:30pm Thu 27 Mar 14

martinlangford says...

I'm a regular at the grapes in chipping sodbury and am outraged that people will stoop so low as to accuse this hard working couple of serving underage children, I have not once seen anyone being served who is under age I have seen all staff check id, I think its bad that people would want to stoop so low as to try and tarnish the new landlords who have worked so hard in getting the pub up and running. I personally will continue to go into the grapes as well as my friends as we know all these allegations are false
I'm a regular at the grapes in chipping sodbury and am outraged that people will stoop so low as to accuse this hard working couple of serving underage children, I have not once seen anyone being served who is under age I have seen all staff check id, I think its bad that people would want to stoop so low as to try and tarnish the new landlords who have worked so hard in getting the pub up and running. I personally will continue to go into the grapes as well as my friends as we know all these allegations are false martinlangford
  • Score: 10

11:33am Fri 28 Mar 14

stevewilkinson says...

only been in 3 or 4 times be for moving on for a meal, there`s a friendly atmosphere in the pub and I would go back. Have heard plenty of rumours which appear unfounded so I agree with above theory of a smear campaign, someone would like to see the grapes close.
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only been in 3 or 4 times be for moving on for a meal, there`s a friendly atmosphere in the pub and I would go back. Have heard plenty of rumours which appear unfounded so I agree with above theory of a smear campaign, someone would like to see the grapes close. . stevewilkinson
  • Score: 4

3:50pm Sat 29 Mar 14

THE hORSESHOE says...

My Partner and myself are the former landlords and have spoken to new landlords about the above. We are absolutely disgusted that we are being spoken about in this way as we have absolutely nothing to do with these allegations. We noted they are from Mothers and fathers. The two above people need to retract as Monday we will be seeking solicitors advice. We have also called for a pub watch meeting with everyone concerned as we too feel for Sam and Kerry. Gill and Dave
My Partner and myself are the former landlords and have spoken to new landlords about the above. We are absolutely disgusted that we are being spoken about in this way as we have absolutely nothing to do with these allegations. We noted they are from Mothers and fathers. The two above people need to retract as Monday we will be seeking solicitors advice. We have also called for a pub watch meeting with everyone concerned as we too feel for Sam and Kerry. Gill and Dave THE hORSESHOE
  • Score: 0

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