Underage Drinker Hospitalised After Bottomless Brunch

17-year-old girl was served at the Chelsea Lodge on King's Road

A Chelsea Lodge on King's Road. Picture: Google Streetview

A Fulham pub could be forced to reduce its opening hours after a 17-year-old girl drank so much at a bottomless brunch she had to go to hospital.

The girl had allegedly used a fake id to trick staff at the Chelsea Lodge on King’s Road and ended up in hospital along with three other women on March 26, 2022.

Now Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s licensing committee are looking at changing the pub’s opening hours to prevent a similar incident.

In a review, the council said: “There were serious management failures on the day in question, not least by allowing access to a child, but also by allowing customers to consume so much alcohol that they had to be admitted to hospital.”

The decision could impact the livelihoods of 20 members of staff, according to the pub’s owner Chase Hunter. But the council are still concerned about the venue’s ability to manage daytime events.

In a witness statement, Mr Hunter explained a resident first spotted the group of girls drinking alcohol before they arrived at the venue. Once inside the pub, one of the young women said she felt ill and her friends took her outside. Staff gave her a soft drink immediately and alerted a manager.

The group explained to pub staff that she had recently broken up with her boyfriend and lost a lot of weight as a result. The woman’s parents had asked for her to be taken back to Essex by train but the pub’s manager insisted on calling an ambulance.

Mr Hunter also described the moment he allegedly discovered someone underage had managed to get into the pub using a fake ID.

He said, “I was so furious that I summarily dismissed the manager who had let her in when I found out. Further investigations of our CCTV proved that this female had, in fact, provided what appeared to be valid identification verifying that she was over 18.

“Indeed, social media searches suggest she has gained entry to other licensed premises and purchased alcohol presumably using the same ID. Regrettably, we were duped by this female’s false documentation but, as it now turns out, this was not down to our negligence. Nevertheless, we have since tightened further our age verification procedures and the training of staff.”

Since the incident, the pub has scrapped its bottomless brunch events which often feature 90 minutes of unlimited drinks and then entertainment from drag queens, singers and guest hosts.

At first, there were concerns that the incident had involved drinks being spiked but the Met police’s forensics team have ruled this out, according to Mr Hunter.

The pub also received a warning letter on 5 August for not providing CCTV footage to the Met Police. The police had requested CCTV footage from the pub between 17 December, 2021, and 11 February, 2022, to look into a different incident on the pub’s premises on 9 December.

Hammersmith and Fulham’s licensing committee was set to decide on the future of the pub on Tuesday, 4 October, but all parties present voted to adjourn the meeting to give the council more time to look through new CCTV footage.

Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter

October 5, 2022