London punters "disgusted" at pub charging late night fee for orders after 10pm

Is this levy the unfortunate future of extended evenings in our favourite boozers?

Updated on 22 January 2020 • Written By Emma Mitchell

London punters

A London pub has prompted complaints after adding a tax to drinks served after 10pm. An angry punter at the Ten Bells Spitalfields took to Twitter to rage about the extra fee added to his drinks tab attributed to ‘Late Night Pricing’ last week.

After a few pints of ale at the popular east London boozer, Matt Broad took to his social media in a fury accusing The Ten Bells in Spitalfields of ‘Disgusting behaviour’ with a photograph of his payment receipt. His rant continued ‘Charging an additional cost for “late night” at 10pm. Are you for real? Where is this advertised in the pub?’ In addition he included a screenshot of a website citing the legal requirement for pubs to display an up to date price list for their drinks on display for all to see at all times.  

The post attracted considerable attention with people outraged that the pub, which already charges the steep London price of £6.40 for a pint, was demanding an extra 60p per drink on account of the fact that the order was placed at 10pm. People commented that the ‘stealth tax’ was ‘ridiculously unfair’ and questioned the legality of the surcharge.

Whilst The Ten Bells have refrained from commenting, a source suggested to the Telegraph that the local authority’s Late Night Levy could be to blame, a fee that was introduced in January 2018 by Tower Hamlets council. The levy is charged to selected pubs in the area where alcohol is the principal trade in a bid to stamp out antisocial behaviour and can be up to £85 per week. The council website claims that the extra money is used to cover the costs associated with drinkers including extra policing at night and regular street cleans.

Whether The Ten Bells have passed this fee directly onto the customer is unknown – but here’s hoping that other pubs won’t follow their lead!

Fond of a late-night tipple? Check out our list of the best late-night bars