UK officials put restrictions on Guy Ritchie’s pub


LONDON (AP) — Officials in a London neighborhood have a message for the celebrity patrons who flock to Guy Ritchie’s watering hole: Take it inside.

Residents of west London’s wealthy Mayfair neighborhood complained that the 41-year-old filmmaker had transformed The Punch Bowl from a pleasant 18th century Georgian pub into a loud and paparazzi-plagued celebrity hangout.

The City of Westminster Council, which regulates the area’s drinking establishments, ordered Ritchie and his co-proprietors Thursday to keep patrons indoors after 8 p.m. and to scale down their private parties. Employees have also been told to make hourly checks outside for glasses and litter.

“We are absolutely not against pubs,” Ward Councilor Glenys Roberts told a committee convened to consider action against the pub. “We are not even against The Punch Bowl except that it has changed dramatically in its nature.”

Ritchie, who wrote and directed “Snatch” and “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” took over The Punch Bowl in early 2008 along with business partners Piers Adam and Guy Pelly. He and his then-wife Madonna were the venue’s most famous regulars.

The refurbished pub has since drawn a stream of stars, but residents have complained about noisy crowds, traffic jams, trash and public urination. Three residents demanded that local authorities review the pub’s license.

The residents’ lawyer Leo Charalambides told the hearing that The Punch Bowl had changed “from a ‘ye olde local’ English pub into something that’s really internationally recognized on the A-list party circuit and by those who would like to get some of the glamor of going to such a venue.”

He added that pub regulars were members of the “leisure classes” who could afford to “cause a nuisance on seven days of the week.”

Ritchie was not at the hearing — the pub’s lawyer Julian Skeen said he was working on a new movie — but his associate Adam said he was satisfied with the ruling.