You do not need a licence to give away alcoholic drinks to your guests, free of charge. However, if any money changes hands for alcoholic drinks on the premises, a Temporary Event Notice under the Licencing Act 2003 must be issued. The museum does not permit the illegal sale of alcohol on the premises and a copy of the notice must be provided to the museum in advance.
The best and most common way to have a cash bar at the museum is to ask a local licencee to provide the bar for you. We reccommend nearby pub and night club Central Station for this. Central Station have a track record of providing this service reliably and efficiently at the museum and a long experience of outside event bar services. They have the great advantage that their main venue is only a few hundred yards from the museum, therefore they can re-stock if necessary during an event and the transport logistics are simple. They are a private, independent business.
Central Station usually work on the basis that no charge is made to the event organiser but of course all the revenue from drink sales is retained.
Contact Martin Mason firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7278 3294 to discuss your event.
The museum never allows the sale of alcohol to take place illegally, therefore if money is to change hands for alcoholic drinks, the legal process must be followed.
ATemporary Event Notice has to be issued to the London Borough of Islington and the Metropolitan Police. It will be a condition of hire of the museum that the bar will close at least 20 minutes before the end time of the event and that the museum is sent a copy of the notice and the acknowledgement. Because the law restricts the number of Temporary Event Notices at any particular premises in a year, customers must obtain our agreement before they either arrange for a Temporary Event Notice to be issued by anyone at all for an event at the museum. The issue of the Temporary Event Notice will normally be the only procedure necessary but it is possible for the police to object and for a counter-notice to be served on the person who issued the notice. A fee of £21 is payable to the local authority. The Temporary Event Notice has to reach the local authority at least 10 working days before the event. However the Council advises that at least four weeks notice should be given if possible.
If the event is open to the public, for example a charity fund-raising event, other aspects of the event may be "regulated entertainment" such as for example music and dancing. The same Temporary Event Notice can cover both sale of alcohol and entertainment.