A Greek takeaway and restaurant in Bristol city centre has been granted permission to stay open until the early hours for food deliveries.
Taka Taka in Broad Quay can keep operating until 4am so that it can cook meals to be delivered to customers but must shut its doors to the public at 1am or 2am, depending on the day of the week.
The permission granted by Bristol City Council is largely academic while coronavirus restrictions forcing pubs, bars and restaurants to close at 10pm are in place.
But it is a partial victory for the owners who reapplied to serve hot food until 4am after being turned down in February because of objections to the restaurant’s location in a late-night crime and disorder hotspot.
At that time, Taka Taka was within a cumulative impact area (CIA) where nighttime food and drink establishments had reached “saturation point”, meaning new businesses should be granted a licence only in exceptional circumstances if they offered something unique.
But the city centre CIA is no longer in place after the policy lapsed and the council began a consultation to reintroduce it with a smaller footprint.
A licensing committee heard that the police and the councils’ regulatory services, who objected to the first and resubmitted applications, withdrew their opposition after the owner agreed to a number of changes affecting the employment of door staff and the restaurant’s operating hours.
The owner agreed that Taka Taka, which is currently permitted to open until midnight, would close its doors to the public at 1am on Sundays through Thursdays and at 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and that hot meals prepared until 4am would be for deliveries only.
The firm’s solicitor Philip Day said the restaurant had been opening according to those hours without problem for the past seven weeks under a series of temporary event notices.
He said objections from the owners of three competing businesses in the Broad Quay area were largely a “rehash” of those made in February and relied on arguments about “cumulative impact”, of which there was no evidence.
Mr Day said it would be “entirely wrong” for the committee to base their decision on an assumption that the city centre CIA policy would be re-introduced following the public consultation, which ends next month.
Solicitor Jeremy Woodcraft, representing the three other traders, said, despite the absence of a CIA, council policy still allowed it to consider the cumulative impact of a number of similar premises in a given area.
He said the Broad Quay area was already “amply served” by late-night refreshment venues and that granting Taka Taka’s application would add to the “adverse impact” they cause.
“There is an issue with crime and disorder in this area, and undoubtedly you will know from previous experience and your own experience that this would add to that,” Mr Woodcraft said
Granting the licence extension could encourage other businesses in the former CIA area to make a similar application, he added.
Announcing the committee’s decision, chair Cllr Brenda Massey said members were “satisfied that the conditions agreed and the reduction of hours would enable the applicant to meet the licensing objectives”.