Bar owner serving pints to thirsty Brits after refusing to shut in lockdown is fined £1k but vows to stay open

A BAR owner who kept pulling pints for thirsty Brits during lockdown has been fined £1,000 for refusing to shut – as he vows to stay open.

Kash Pungi was slapped with the hefty fine for refusing to follow Covid rules, but has no plans to stop now.

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The owner of the Cleethorpes Beach Bar defiantly opened up again yesterday despite orders to stop trading on Tuesday.

He plans to carry on serving customers throughout the Easter holiday – claiming he is sticking to the restrictions by operating "like Tesco".

The rebel said: "We will see them in court. I’m doing everything right and have the best counsel and they say I’m right so we will see the council in court.”

He has been using a click and collect order system, claiming customers all kept to the two-metre rule as they waited to collect their booze outside the North East Lincolnshire spot.

His mum has been working to serve pints along side him – in a mask – withthe 74-year-old happily greeting punters.

Mr Pungi has been criticised for not wearing a mask as he works, and admitted he might need to double check the Covid rules on face covering regulations.

But he insisted: "We are two-metres away from customers at all times because the bar is between us. It is continuously being cleaned and all payments are contactless.

"As a family we all live together so this is our bubble. All the health and safety rules are being followed.


"Everyone is behaving. I have never seen people so relaxed in Cleethorpes before they are all happy.

"Everyone is chilled and walking slowly and keeping apart. There is no rushing around. Everyone is abiding by the rules."

Under current lockdown rules takeaway pints are not allowed until April 12, when pub gardens open back up.

A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesman said: "Following reports ofthe contravention of health protection regulations at the Beach Bar in Cleethorpes over recent days, we can confirm that Council officers have now served the owner of the premises with a £1,000 Fixed Penalty Notice.

The notice was made under coronavirus health protection regulations, which came into force on Monday.

Failure to comply, without reasonable excuse, with the rules is considered a criminal offence.

Licensing consultant Michael Kheng told Grimsby Live: “The Beach Bar is not a pub or a cafe.

"In some respects it is just like Tesco, but just significantly smaller. By pre-ordering, he is meeting the requirements of the law.

“The new regulations came into effect at the start of the week. You can open for pre-ordered drinks and the rules specifically state by text.

"People are not going into premises for alcohol, so that is permitted. The difference with the Beach Bar is that it is not a pub.

"You will not be allowed to sit in a pub beer garden until April 12, so he is unique as normal pubs can't do this."

It comes as cops seized booze from groups of pals in parks yesterday – with people flouting the rules after lockdown was eased on Monday.

Cops were called to Manchester city centre tonight after hundreds of revellers gathered for a live DJ set.

Officers were pictured arriving to disperse crowds of people drinking and dancing in Castlefield Bowl with a large set up with speakers.


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