BOSSES at a trouble-hit nightspot have pledged to “ban chavs” in a bid to improve its rowdy reputation.
Managers at Ttonic, in Vine Place, Sunderland, have barred trademark tracksuits, hooded tops and baseball caps.
The venue, which has been the scene of a string of glass attacks on drinkers, has also outlawed clothing labels often worn by “undesirables”.
“If people turn up with their trousers tucked into their socks, then they are refused entry,” said manager Stuart Bowden.
“There are no hats, no tracksuits and no labels which are classed as undesirable. It’s awful to say it, but you can often go by appearances. You can tell when somebody is going to cause trouble – we won’t let chavs in.”
Mr Bowden, who is part of a new management team at the city-centre business, made the comments at a meeting of Sunderland Council’s licensing sub-committee.
He estimated that the tough new dress code meant door staff were now turning away “40 per cent” of former regulars.
Other safety measures include removing DJs and a dancefloor, improving CCTV coverage and installing a new radio with a direct link to police.
“The manager’s office now looks like a police control room,” said Mr Bowden. “There is so much equipment.”
Bosses at Ttonic, which was relaunched earlier this year, attended the council meeting to hear an application for a review its premises licence.
Police had previously claimed it was “associated with serious crime and disorder” after a spate of glass attacks on customers.
In nine months, there were five assaults, leading to restrictions being imposed on the venue.
However, the nightspot’s management told the hearing, held at Sunderland Civic Centre, they were winning the fight against troublemakers, despite continuing concerns from Northumbria Police.
“Everything has changed so much,” said Mr Bowden. “We’ve done everything we’ve been asked to do.”
Bosses argued that many customers were being put off by drinking out of new plastic safety glasses, and not being allowed to buy popular bottled beers after 11pm.
“Some people want to drink out of bottles and these are some of our biggest sellers,” said Mr Bowden.
“Our takings are down since we introduced the polycarbonate glasses, and we don’t want to have to withdraw these products.
“People do enjoy the experience of drinking out of a bottle, particularly ones served with lime.”
The committee agreed to move the change-over time from glass to polycarbonate glasses from 9pm to 11pm, to 10pm to midnight, and allow the sale of bottled beers not available in plastic packaging after this time.