Drinkers in City pub being charged more after 10pm as they pass council late night levy' on to customers

Helena Horton
Are these pints worth more after 10pm? - Moment RF

Drinkers in a City of London pub are being charged more after 10pm as they are accused of passing a council "late night levy" onto customers.

The Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields, which has been in place since the 18th century, is known for allegedly being a haunt of victims of Jack the Ripper.

It has also appeared in Jamie Oliver television shows; the celebrity cook's  great-great-grandfather was a landlord of the pub during the 1880s.

Customers visiting the pub have noticed that after a certain time of night, they are charged 10 per cent more for their beers. 

Matt Broad was shocked to see, when looking at his receipt, that he had been charged extra money for ordering a pint after 10pm.

His receipt shows that a normal pint is £6.40, but that "late night pricing" adds 65p to the beverage, pushing the price to £7.15. This practice is not advertised on the pub's website, and Mr Broad claimed it was not made clear in the pub before he paid.

Mr Broad labelled this "disgusting behaviour", adding in a tweet to the pub: "Charging an additional cost for “late night” at 10pm. Are you for real? Where is that advertised in the pub?"

Ben Lockwood, the Marketing Manager for Brewdog, said that this happens "more than people think."

He added: "Technically is this just 'Event Pricing' that gets used fairly often, but in areas where the customers are transient so therefore you don't realise it's happening?

"I know it probably happens a lot more than people realise - in tourist locations especially. But I've never seen it on a receipt like that though.

"You've probably experienced something similar in the past without knowing it or giving it a second thought, and you wouldn't see anything on a receipt to tell you."

A pub industry insider told The Telegraph that the pricing could be to do with the local council's late night levy.

He said: "The levy itself is just a council charge on businesses that are open late. It's up to the business to pass that charge onto the punter."

The Ten Bells did not deny that this was the case, but refused to comment.

Simon Read, the presenter of BBC One's Right On The Money, called it a "seemingly rip-off practice", adding "It wouldn't be so agitating if customers knew that the prices increased. They could then make a decision about whether to accept it or go elsewhere."

The late-night levy is a charge councils are allowed to pass on to local businesses which are open late in order to pay for extra policing and licencing costs caused by drinkers.