Under fire Chester nightclub Cruise backs down over £1 drinks offer

Minimum drink price is now £1.50 after concerns were raised by Pubwatch and police
Cruise nightclub, St John Street, Chester

Chester nightclub Cruise has withdrawn a £1 per drink offer on Monday nights after fears it would encourage binge drinking.

Frank Marnell, chairman of Chester Pubwatch, had dubbed the actions of the St John Street venue ‘disgusting’ because of concerns it would lead to a spike in anti-social behaviour.

Police were also keeping a close eye on the premises.

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Frank Marnell, landlord of the Watergate Inn and chairman of Chester Pubwatch

But the nightclub has now dropped the £1 drink promotion after just one week to comply with a Chester PubWatch £1.50 minimum drinks agreement.

Brendan McLoughlin, a co-owner of Cruise, said: “We didn’t anticipate the reaction it got. We ran it last Monday and we had absolutely no issues whatsoever.”

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Mr McLoughlin said police visited on the night and were happy there was ‘a nice crowd’ and ‘a good atmosphere’.

The company director said it was his business partner Nick Harding who helped instigate the £1.50 per drink policy among Chester PubWatch members. But Cruise management had become frustrated at having to compete with other venues who were regularly flouting the rule.

Cruise nightclub came under fire for its £1 drinks promotion.

“We don’t believe what we were doing was irresponsible but we could see other people doing it with a different result because of what they didn’t have in place,” added Mr McLoughlin, who made clear he was not talking about rival club Rosies, which is currently closed due to police concerns about crime and disorder.

He said his premises employed trained bar staff who would not serve intoxicated customers, more than 30 CCTV cameras and 12 security staff, who were equipped with breathalysers to test arriving customers suspected of being intoxicated and refuse entry if necessary.

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“We have a good relationship with police and we don’t want to upset that,” added Mr McLoughlin, who said the Quids In promotion would continue so far as the £1 entry before midnight was concerned although the minimum drink price was now £1.50.

Previously on the £1 drinks list were: Cheeky Vimto, vodka and mixer, a bottle of San Miguel Fresca, a pint of Carlsberg lager, a Sambuca shot, Malibu and mix, Southern Comfort, WKD and sours.

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