Corky's Bar - what would it take to get it closed down?

14 years ago...

Has anyone else noticed that Surbiton's worst bar has got a bit out of control lately?

There was a full fight outside there a week ago, and it was full of police again last night. There is now a sign on the door that says 'Due to violant (sic) attacks on staff and customers there will be no admissions after midnight.' Nice!

Surely, the police can demand that the place is shut down if it carries on being run like this? I realise that the undesirables who drink here will only go somewhere else if it was to be shut, but I think that there would be some value in dissipating them a bit.

Corky's is actively encouraging the wrong sort of person - large day-glo signs advertising beer at very cheap prices and Drum & Bass nights when they have such a tiny premises seems akin to saying 'Come to Corky's for a good punch-up'.

Because of this, a lot of the people who go there seem to arrive by bus or train. If it were shut, some of the regulars would no doubt end up in Wetherspoons etc, but a lot of them would probably not come to Surbiton at all.


mmm...interesting place, i've been there few days ago with me wife and her friends,what can i say..i love it..the staff was so polite and nice with us,the drinks yammy...(i love a good wine)i even tried one of their platter with cheese,..all toghether very nice and thank you vinoteque. I will take my boss today over there because its a wine drinker (hope i will get a promotion) :)) all the best and welcome to our town!

Thank you very much ...when you come in just ask ask to speak with the manager and you will deff get a promotion:)
See you soon:)

It always looks rough, as does the lady I see sweeping up and having a fag outside ... Perhaps its gone. Last time I looked it seemed to have turned into a nightclub/disco ...

That would be great news! I have always said that I'd rather see anything occupying a shop rather than an empty shopfront, but I will make an exception in this case.

There is always the argument that closing a poisonous boozer like this one will just infect other local pubs, and I think that may be the case, but it also seems to be that people come to Surbiton especially to go to Corky's so we should get rid of some overall.

The right wingers on here will be disappointed to know that it is having a revamp, not closing.
So put your pitchforks back in your box for another day.

Congratulations, and I hope you are looking forward to the big re-opening night.

If you would be kind enough to keep your shirt on whilst drinking outside and reserve your abuse for other customers rather than general passers-by, I am sure most other people will be happy as well.

The name is being changed to 'Vinoteque'. Maybe they're going more down the wine-bar route.

The Vino bit sounds OK. It's the 'teque' bit I'm worried about .....

vino means wine and the teque bit comes from the Latin "theca", meaning "case"...cases of wine to be more specific:)

Looks like a vast improvement though, I might have to pop in there sometime soon to sample their fayre!

It certainly does! I have walked past it a few times now and noticed the nice seating and a reasonably diverse selection of customers.

I have not yet seen anyone throw a punch, fall over drunk or shout continuously and everyone in there seems perfectly happy to wear something on their top half all the time they are in there!

Long may it continue.

Thank you.... It is under new management and we will try our best to make this place a point of meetings, social interaction... a place where you can enjoy a glass of our fine wines along with interesting cheeses, tasty charcuterie, olives , terrine and much more. Like us on Facebook vinoteque of surbiton for more info.
hope to see you soon

Good luck with it, I think it is just what that part of the town needs.

It is a great idea to move into a totally different market. As we have seen before, a refurb alone doesn't always repair a place with bad reputation/clientele. The Grove Tavern has had to go through TWO refurbs and is only now starting to lose it's reputation as one of the rougher pubs in central Surbiton, and that was in no way as bad as Corky's to start with.

Or, a tacky discotheque full of winos.

Sounds classy!

Have just noticed that the windows are covered up and it is not open as usual.

I have been to 'Xzyte Bar' on numerous occasions and find these comments hard to believe. It is not called 'Corkys' anymore and therefore does not have the same violence and disturbance people are saying it does. I find it a nice quiet bar with nice, kind regulars who are there to just have a few drinks with friends. I also threw my party there which went down very well. There were no unwanted guests, fights or violence during the night. I'm guessing these sorts of people have moved on! The staff are very pleasant and I would definitely be going back in the near future. As all these comments are from 1 year - 2 years ago so I may just be a little behind in time but I do believe and will very much stand by my decision that Xzyte Bar is a great place to go.

I can't believe that my original comment is over two years old!

At that time, Corkys had become a real problem, and I must say that since the name change, things do seem to have improved.

Surbiton seems to go through stages with it's problem establishments. A few years ago it was the YMCA, then Corkys and now it seems to be McDonalds since the 24 hour licence was granted. I guess it is the same in most towns.

I have been walking outside alot of pubs and been shouted at and its an everyday thing. I would not complain about that at all as most people are drunk and just a bit rude.
I have seen fights outside corkys all the time though and although I think everyone should have a place to drink some people that go to corkys are just looking for a fight. (like alot of bars)
I was attacked by two girls coming out, well after hours when they started attacking a woman and I tried to help. I eneded up with some injuries and had to be helped by passers by. This has never happened to me even in the dodgiest pub in kingston.
My main concern was that the girls came out increadibly late, well after the drinking time was up. If the police know there is trouble outside all the time why dont they have police around? I also think the pub, to save reputation, should employ bouncers to escort the last few out and make sure things like that dont happen. Thats what they do in the "bad pubs" else where. I have been drinking in there a few years back and actually enjoyed the experience inside so I have nothing against the bar its self.

People who are affected can ask for a review of the licence if there is direct evidence that these premises are responsible for breaching one of the four licensing objectives then, unlike other legislation, members of the public are entitled to make a request to review the licence to address the nuisance complained of. The 4 objectives are "The Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Public Safety, The Prevention of Public Nuisance, The Protection of Children from Harm
Address any comments to Principal Licensing Officer , Royal Borough Kingston , 020 8547 5079

I am very sorry to hear about your experience, and hope that you made a swift recovery.

This sort of thing should not be happening at any time. To me, it is irrelevant if this is happening at 3pm or 3am - two girls coming out of a bar and attacking a passer by is never acceptable, especially in an otherwise safe suburban town.

I am not trying to say Surbiton is perfect. Clearly, there are people like this in the area and they are going to have to go and drink/fight somewhere, but surely if a bar like Corky's is seen to not be doing enough to stop it they can be fined or shut down.

I fear that the problem might get worse before it gets better. The Surbiton Flyer is under new management and they are actively looking to remove the trouble-maker element from their clientele. This leaves only Corky's and Wetherspoons for this type of clientele to go....

The new owners (Gordon Bennets) of the Surbiton Flyer are not "actively looking to remove the trouble-maker element from their clientele" they're just up their own arses and don't seem to want any people watching football, presumably as they're lower class in their eyes. Not once have i ever seen any "trouble-makers" in there in all the time i've been drinking in there, not something i'll be doing again since they're above my custom.

Personally i hope the pub goes under purely due to the snobby attitude or the management.

I live above Corky's and, believe me, there are fights all the time. Most weekends we are entertained by the police pulling up or some scuffle happening. Obviously, not all the drinkers are to blame but some people seem to be sat outside 24/7!! And yes, I saw the horse outside with the bare-chested bloke and his kid. Couldn't believe he was racing it up and down Claremont Rd. Not the best of local bars!!

I’ve walked past several nights, week days and weekends and never been shouted at. I’ve walked past Gordon Bennetts and a guy outside shouted “Hey girlie come sit on this lap” so you get the “Wrong Type” everywhere!

Some quotes from this thread:

"Corky's is actively encouraging the wrong sort of person"
"I don't like the bar or its clientele either"
"Corky's Bar- has a purpose, it concentrates the "undesireables" in one place"
"Corkys does seem to attract ruffians and needo wells"

Each illustrates intolerance of people who are viewed as "different".

On the specific subject of people in Corky's being abusive to passers-by then that's not cool. If it happens, complain to the council.

Ginger, it just comes down to a snobby attitude.

There have been many problems with this bar over a long period and we are right to complain. We should be intolerant of badly run bars and aggressive behaviour. However, I think that Corky's has really raised its game recently and the trouble has all but gone. That doesn't mean that many of us will wish to start using the bar ourselves, but it means that it doesn't affect those who don't use it.

As people? or of their (alleged) anti-social activities?

BTW, if you read my contributions to this thread so far, you'll se that I have not taken sides, but have raised questions and stated the odd fact.

IF (underlined) SOME (underlined) of the folk that frequent the bar (and I've no real problem with the bar, as I think it serves a purpose and I think live & let live...... but like any other establishment, it needs to be well managed and action taken IF things get out of hand) ARE shouting abuse at passers by, are they being tolerant of them?

I was born & brought up on a council estate in N.E. Manchester, an estate which is now a bit of a 'no-go' area, so I am no snob nor pretentious.

I am not pretentious or a snob either but I do object to beiing yelled at and I didn't like it when a drunk middle aged couple rolled out of Corkys and proceeded to have a very aggressive and foul mouthed argument at the bus stop where I was waiting to go home from work. I thought they were going to come to blows at one point.

Other people.

Tolerant of what exactly?

Fair point about tolerance though.

You lot really are a load of pretentious idiots.

There was one fight at corky's, its not a regular thing.

Learn some common decency and be a bit more tolerant of others.

Hmm not sure if you know the meaning of the word pretentious but there you go...

I was passing Corky's yesterday and noticed that the signs about the 'violent attacks' etc. had been removed, which kind of makes sense. Personally I would have just posted a sign that stated no admittance whatsoever after 'whatever time', as I wouldn't have thought that a sign stating there'd been violent attacks is a good advert...... but then again LOL!

Ionkontrol - I don't think you necessarily have to live above/next door/acroos the road from Corky's to have a point and an opinion about it. If some folk feel that they can't walk down that road at certain times of day or night or use that part of town, then there is most definitely problem that needs resolving.

As someone has already pointed out Corky's is very much visible, due to it's location, and is therefore going to draw attention to itself of all sorts (both in terms of criticism from it's opponents and patronage by 'undesirables'). My question is whether Surbiton town centre has a sufficient police presence to deal with fall-out from any 'lively' bar? If Corky's were in Kingston town centre then it might not 'stand out' so much.

Well according to the papers the owner is denying Corky's is a trouble spot. I'm not sure why he brings up the subject of drugs, I thought the problem was the patrons getting trashed on the alcohol he serves them. Given that their current licence states "There shall be no admittance or re-admittance by patrons to the premises after 23:45" him putting up a notice saying 'Due to violant (sic) attacks on staff and customers there will be no admissions after midnight.' highlights just how little regard he has for his responsibilities.

I think the reference to drugs is that Corky's owner felt that the police visit was a drugs raid. In reality, it was probably just a response to yet another complaint about noise and violence.

I will be interested to see the comments on the Surrey Comet website, and whether their opinion of Corky's agrees with most of those on here.

Corkys does seem to attract ruffians and needo wells. One night some idiot was riding a pony make it gallop up and down Surbiton High St (poor animal was v skinny). After his "display" he tied the horse to a tree and took himself and his kid who was about 8 or 9 into Corkys. Seemed well acquainted with the other idiots standing by the entrance smoking.


Corky's Bar- has a purpose, it concentrates the "undesireables" in one place, get rid of corky's they'll take another bar over.

Perhaps, but they would not be allowed to behave like that anywhere else - even Wetherspoons.

Exactly, if you dont like it, walk on the other side of the road.

I dont particularly like the smug [filtered word] brigade in Gordon Bennetts to be honest, but I am certaiblly not going to mount a campaign, citing it's demise.

If you live above/next door/acroos the road from Corky's, then maybe you have a point. If it is purely an aesthetics opinion, I dont think you will get far.

Believe me, I always walk on the other side of the road. I have still seen people being shouted and sworn at from the bar when waiting at the bus stop on the Waitrose side of the road.

Gordon Bennett might not suit everyone, but I have never been shouted at when I have walked past there, never seen blood or smashed glass on the pavement outside and have never seen the police called to cart away the regulars. I can accept that this happens in most pubs from time to time, but every week is unacceptable, surely?

I realise that it is a bit of a 'Nimby' attitude, but Corky's makes that part of town feel very unsafe and that affects everyone who has to walk past it, not just those living in the direct vicinity.

Shbib - thanks for that useful information. Unfortunately, they do not really seem to be breaking any of the licence restrictions apart from allowing patrons to drink outside.

I will write to the council as it would seem very unlikely that they could deny that Corky's causes a public nuisance. I always walk on the other side of the street, but it is still very intimidating. I never feel the same way about walking past Gordon Bennett or The Victoria!

I don't like the bar or its clientele either. I find it very unpleasant waiting for a bus when there are crowds of drunkards just a couple of yards away.

I also think it's appalling that Corky's customers stand outside the shop next door - a health food shop - while smoking and drinking. It must be terrible for the owners of that shop to have to put up with the smoke that accumulates outside their door.

I agree with the original post that Corky's is "actively encouraging the wrong sort of person" and I'm shocked that the owners were given permission to open an all day drinking premises in the centre of a busy shopping street. If it's true that many of Corky's customers are travelling in from elsewhere then if Corky's were shut down there would only be a few locals who would need to find somewhere else to drink. If we have to have such an awful place in the town, could it at least be hidden in a back street somewhere?

I'm sure there are enough people in the town who want to see this bar close but how do we go about it? Does anyone know what we need to do - sign a petition, write to councillors?

Want to complain about Corky's? has information for people wishing to make a review (ie complain) about a licence and a form you can fill in and send to lodge a formal complaint.

The grounds for a review are restricted to addressing one, or more, of the four licensing objectives:
Public Nuisance
Public Safety
Protection of Children from Harm
Crime and Disorder

Here's a copy of their current license from the Kingston council website which you can view by going to and searching for Corky's under 'premises name'

Licensing Act 2003 - Premises Licence register as at 12:01 on Sat 01 Aug 2009
Corky's Revisited
12, Claremont Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 4QA

Completed Application 003927 which is a Change of Name/Address of Holder for a Premises Licence from 28/02/08 to indefinite

Full name Mr. Robert HEDLEY
Designated Premises Supervisor
Premises supervisor name Mr. Nicholas Gordon Graves
Permitted Activities:
- any playing of recorded music
- the sale by retail of alcohol
Premises Open Hours granted
Time From Time To
Mon-Thurs 10:00am 12:30am
Friday 10:00am 1:30am
Saturday 10:00am 1:30am
Sunday 10:00am Midnight
Activities - Times granted
Time From Time To
F. Playing of recorded music (Indoors)
Mon-Thurs 10:00am Midnight
Friday 10:00am 1:00am
Saturday 10:00am 1:00am
Sunday 10:00am 11:30pm
M. The sale by retail of alcohol for consumption ON and OFF the premises
Mon-Thurs 10:00am Midnight
Friday 10:00am 1:00am
Saturday 10:00am 1:00am
Sunday 10:00am 11:30pm
Additional Conditions

For supply of alcohol
No supply of alcohol may be made under the premise licence:
a) at a time when there is no designated premise supervisor
b) at a time when the designated premise supervisor does not hold a personal licence or his personal licence is suspended

Every supply of alcohol under the premises licence must be made or authorised by a person who holds a personal licence.

A Noise Management Plan shall be formulated and be available at the premises for inspection by an authorised officer of the Council or Police

The licence holder or their representative will promote the effective and quiet dispersal of patrons from the premises by requesting them, both verbally including, when necessary, public announcement, and through conspicuous signage, to leave and disperse in an orderly and quiet manner.

The Licence holder will ensure that the structure of the premises is sufficiently soundproof to ensure that the sound breakout from regulated entertainment activities does not cause a detriment to public amenity

No deliveries shall be made to the premises nor waste, kegs or bottles moved outside the premises between 23:00 hours and 0700 hours save for essential food supplies.

A minimum of two designated S.I.A door supervisors to be on duty from 9 pm when the sale/ supply of alcohol and the provision of entertainment is likely to go past midnight. Doormen are to maintain order within the total curtilage of the premises and to encourage quiet and responsible dispersal from the premises. An incident book be maintained and be available for inspection by the Police and authorised officers of the Local Authority.

CCTV is to be provided and operated in accordance with the guidance issue by the Information Commissioner and the requirements prescribed by the Metropolitan Police.

Drinks promotions are to be in accordance with the recognised code of conduct issued by the Portman Group, or the BBPA, or another nationally recognised organisation.

The manager of the premises or a senior representative of the licensee company must attend every meeting of Surbiton Pub Watch.

There shall be no admittance or re-admittance by patrons to the premises after 23:45.

No drinking vessels to be taken by patrons outside of the premises.

All the doors on the front façade of the premises with the exception of the one door used to enter and exit the premises must be maintained in a closed fixed position from 9pm.

No recorded music orchestrated by a DJ is to be held or continued after midnight

Has Corky's changed its name and/or under new management or ownership?
It now has a large sign saying 'xzyte' along with details of what they offer. It also seems to stipulate that it's a members bar now.
Anyone throw any light on this?

I did notice they have 'rebranded'. One hopes it is for the good. :)

@surbifan: Go in there and find out and let us know ;)

I can't if it now requires membership, as I'm not a member! LOL!

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