COUNCILLORS have suspended the licence of a popular Huddersfield restaurant after police discovered dozens of bottles of counterfeit vodka.
Kirklees Council’s Licensing Panel yesterday slapped a three-month booze ban on Grappolo in Lockwood.
However, the ban will not come into force until after owner Mr Hamid Mehrgan appeals against the decision at Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court, which he has 21 days to do after receiving official notification of the ban.
Councillors suspended the licence to serve alcohol after 36 bottles of counterfeit vodka were discovered at the Italian restaurant.
However, the three-strong panel refused to consider evidence from West Yorkshire Trading Standards showing exactly what had been in the liquid served to customers.
Police visited the restaurant on Water Street on January 26, discovering six cases, each containing six 70cl bottles of Smirnoff vodka.
Pc Richard Woodhead told the panel yesterday: “The labels were stuck on at funny angles and were of poor quality.
“The liquid appeared to be cloudy with foreign particles in it. These irregularities could not be seen in a dimly-lit restaurant.”
Pc Woodhead then asked the panel if he could submit the results of an analysis of the liquid, which he had received from Trading Standards yesterday morning.
Licensing consultant John Cordingley, who was representing Grappolo owner Hamid Mehrgan, objected to the request.
He said: “I think it’s below the belt to ask to introduce evidence that apparently could have been made available at an earlier date.”