Brighton’s dubious reputation as the stag and hen capital of the south has been thrown into question after weekend violence erupted.

Now there are calls for stricter controls on drunken revellers who arrive in big groups from all over the country.

A doorman suffered a broken foot on Saturday night during clashes with a 20-strong gang of Londoners who had already been thrown out of a gay venue by police after hurling homophobic abuse at customers.

Brighton is regarded as one of Britain’s premier stag night capitals, rivalled only by Blackpool.

But many city centre bars and clubs, worried about trouble, refuse to let in large parties, forcing them into backstreet locals further afield.

Councillor Jason Kitcat, whose Regency ward includes West Street, said the city needed to think up new ways to cater for large groups.

He said: “We desperately need to figure out a way people can go out and have fun safely without these kinds of problems happening.”

Places like Dublin and Newquay have seen their reputations suffer after stag and hen parties drove other visitors away.

City centre manager Soozie Campbell said people continually told her that stag and hen parties were a big problem.

She said: “It is a difficult question. There are businesses that depend on this trade.

“It is not an ideal clientele or an ideal market. It is bringing money into the city – but a lot of grief as well.

“I haven’t heard of a solution, other than nudging them out to somewhere less attractive.”

Saturday’s violence stemmed from a group arriving at R Bar in Marine Parade at about 7.30pm.

Staff said they arrived in small groups of three or four, so it was not obvious they were together until they were inside.

The group made abusive remarks about gay and lesbian students in the bar before taking off their jackets and throwing them around.

Police were called and ordered the revellers to leave.

Barman Patrick Cawley said: “They got nasty after their first drink. It was pretty stressful.

Police were called and calmed it all down.”

Minutes later the same group arrived at Belushi’s in Grand Junction Road.

Some got into the bar, but others were stopped at the door, sparking a violent struggle with security staff.

Sam Millors, assistant manager at Belushi’s, said: “The ones that were inside were trying to help the ones being moved off outside.”

The bar’s head doorman suffered a broken foot during the confrontation and was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.

Crowds gathered outside to watch the trouble as police and paramedics arrived at the scene.

Three men were arrested and held in custody for questioning.