Popular Halifax nightclub The Acapulco defends cheap drink prices after a concerned mum says it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Janice Hopper hit out at the nightclub’s 75p drink prices after she found her daughter ‘passed out in the doorway’ of a nearby bingo hall after she spent just £7.50 worth on ten drinks in the space of an hour.
She said: “It is a disaster waiting to happen! How can we allow our children to be plied with alcohol right under our noses?
“I was just lucky I found my daughter in the doorway before someone else did. I’m begging the local authorities take preventative action before you’re reporting a whole different story.”
However, Simon Woodcock, who runs Acapulco nightclub in Halifax, defended the cheap drinks promotion, saying it only lasted until 11pm, and was a way of allowing less-well-off residents to buy drinks.
He said: “We offer low-cost drinks before 11pm to as a means of inclusion for all the residents of Halifax and the local area, for many of whom salary is below the national average.
“We do not encourage excessive drinking by offering “two for one” promotions and our bar staff are trained to serve responsibly.”
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Ms Hopper’s 16-year-old daughter entered Acapulco nightclub on Monday, July 19, with a group of friends, but became unwell after drinking ten drinks.
Ms Hopper said that it was far too easy for her daughter to enter the club, and that the drinks prices were far too cheap.
She said: “There was a group of 12 of them, 4 of them aren’t 18 yet but as most of them had ID they were let in and told ‘to bring it next time’
“I think they should really review the door staff and also the drink prices. Children should not be able to get into a nightclub and purchase alcohol cheaper that most soft drinks available over the bar. It just encourages binge drinking and will only end with bad things happening.
“From what my daughter is saying it’s quite easy to get in there without ID – which is shocking. I understand that these businesses have been closed for a long period but they shouldn’t be taking risks at the expense of our children’s safety.”
Mr Woodcock, the club owner, said: “We are deeply concerned about this story and investigating matters fully. We will cooperate fully with police and offer a review our CCTV to figure out what has happened.
“We have stringent ID policies in place with our security team. Only official documents (passports and drivers licenses) are accepted as suitable forms of ID.
“Sadly we are often challenged by people who try to gain entry using older siblings ID; we have been working with the police and council for years to address this and would welcome a police initiative with fines or cautions issued as a future deterrent.
WATCH: The queue outside Acapulco on a Saturday night
Acapulco nightclub is a hugely popular club in Halifax, and claims to be the oldest continually-run club in the UK, established in 1961.
It has been incredibly busy since ‘Freedom Day’, with hundreds of punters seen queuing to get into the club.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said: “We’re aware of the problems and harm that can be caused by under-age drinking and take the issue very seriously.
“We work closely with the Police to ensure compliance with licensing legislation and will follow up on any reports of under-age drinking.
“If concerns are raised, we will respond and take enforcement action if necessary. We also work with health partners to explain and educate around the dangers of excessive drinking.
“As more bars, clubs and restaurants reopen following the easing of COVID restrictions, we want those visiting local businesses to have a safe and enjoyable time. We’re proud of Halifax town centre’s Purple Flag status, which recognises excellence in the management of the evening and night-time economy.
“Central to this accreditation is our successful working relationships with the hospitality trade, through the Halifax Town Centre Pubwatch. We also continue to work with businesses across the borough to support their safe reopening.”
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