Draft Project bar: Owner issues statement after Covid guidance ignored


THE owner of an Aberdeen bar where Covid guidelines were completely ignored during Scotland’s historic win over Serbia has said they “were simply unable to contain the outbreak of joy” at the football team’s success.

Stuart Clarkson, the owner and founder of PB Devco, which runs The Draft Project, added that his team would fully cooperate with “any reviews or investigations by the police, Aberdeen City Council or the Scottish Government”.

The bar was one of 28 venues linked to Aberdeen’s coronavirus cluster outbreak in August.

Kevin Stewart, the SNP MSP for Aberdeen central, has called for a formal review into the bar after being “inundated” with emails from constituents concerned about the “flagrant disregard” shown for the Government’s Covid guidelines.

READ MORE: WATCH: Tory donor’s Aberdeen bar blasted for lack of social distancing

He said: “The council must investigate this matter fully, and I don’t mean giving the owners a ring and chatting it over.

“I mean a formal review which includes opening the log books and looking at the Test and Protect records, measuring the venue properly and not taking the venue’s word for it, and most importantly taking action on the chaos that happened last night.”

The Scottish Hospitality Group also condemned the “disgraceful” scenes in the Aberdeen bar, saying “there is a duty to protect public health”.

“We would support any action taken by authorities after any investigation,” they added.

Police apparently attended the bar for around 40 minutes after Scotland scored the first goal, but the warnings were forgotten after the victory in the penalty shootout.

Clarkson said he understood why people “are so upset” by the videos of the celebrations in his bar, saying the videos had made him “shocked, disappointed and saddened”.

READ MORE: Aberdeen SNP MSP calls for council to investigate scenes at Tory donor’s bar

He went on: “While we are proud of our venues and the safe environment they provide, it is clear that in this case we misjudged what was likely to happen. Despite having four additional members of security staff on duty, we were simply unable to contain the outbreak of joy at Scotland’s success.

“We truly hoped and believed we could provide a safe way for customers to enjoy this crucial match and that we could do that within the existing regulations. We took all steps we could to fully comply with those regulations.

“With hindsight it is easy to understand the scenes of sheer, unbridled joy. Unfortunately, in the current pandemic, that is not acceptable and we were unable to prevent or contain what happened.

“I will now be carrying out a thorough review of what went wrong and what steps we have to take to prevent any such repeat incidents. We will also comply fully and assist any reviews or investigations by the police, Aberdeen City Council or the Scottish Government.”

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