Met agents found punters ignoring social distancing rules dancing and drinking together in Afrikiko, while bosses desperately tried to hide customers in the basement during a police raid.
The Old Kent Road site, converted into a nightclub and restaurant, was reported to Southwark Council and this week was stripped of its operating license.
Government coronavirus rules include a 10 p.m. closing time at all bars and restaurants, as well as strict guidelines on tracking social distancing.
Afrikiko bosses were warned in July not to play by the rules, but were again surprised during a one-hour raid on August 29 when the DJ was heard telling revelers, “Sit down. you in your seats… .not dancing, just watch yourself.
During a return visit at 11 p.m. on September 26, the officers were first barred from entering the club and then faced efforts to prevent them from entering the basement.
Eventually, the door was opened and up to 60 people, dressed in evening gowns and holding booze, left the dark basement, the council’s licensing committee learned.
The licensee has repeatedly denied running an illicit nightclub, police said, and had 21 days to appeal the council’s decision.
“We don’t want to deprive people of the livelihoods – we would much prefer that they engage with us and act safe for everyone,” said Sergeant Keith Dempster of the South Central Command Unit. from Scotland Yard.
“However, by repeatedly operating as a nightclub, staff and customers have been exposed to a real risk of contracting and spreading the coronavirus, which is said to have affected communities in London.