Restaurant Granted Liquor License Despite Concerns That Drinkers Will Use Nearby Churchyard as a Public Toilet
On Monday, a health and nutrition-based restaurant in London was granted a liquor license, allowing it to serve alcoholic products to customers and extend its hours of operation to later in the evening. Opposed to this decision, representatives of a neighboring church expressed concerns that late-night drinkers may turn to using its “consecrated” churchyard as a public toilet, according to My London.
“The requested hours of opening… are excessive,” St Margaret Pattens Church wrote in a letter opposing the liquor license application, per My London. “This will attract customers who wish to continue drinking late into the night. It will also lead to outside drinking and raucous behaviour, which will spill over into the churchyard.”
“We have found evidence of urinating and defecating in the churchyard in the past and this is likely to increase significantly. Recently the steps to the church’s South Door were vandalised and the matter reported to the City Police.”
During the licensing meeting, Amar Lodhia, founder of Fit Kitchen, noted that his restaurant’s plans for selling alcohol would not be an issue for St Margaret Pattens Church.
“The whole point of having an alcohol licence was to help people drink healthier with the food,” said Lodhia, according to the report. “We will be serving one beer – it’s a skinny beer… it’s an 89-calorie beer – and it’s the only thing that we will be serving. We’re not going to be turning it into a cocktail bar.”
“The live entertainment licence is because we are going to rent out the space for events, for weddings and things like that and that was what the live music licence was for…” continued Lodhia, per My London. “What the church suggested in its objection, that there would be people vomiting on the house of God – which is what I was told – that’s not going to happen.”
“In fact, we’re not going to be promoting anything like that because that entrance [to the churchyard] is closed. We’re really just trying to promote people to live a healthier life.”
Lodhia then explained that the restaurant would only serve alcohol on Thursdays and Fridays till 9: 30 p.m. However, the kitchen will remain open later to serve as a location for imbibing patrons who may be coming from other venues to get something to eat.
Additionally, Lodhia assured customers would not need to urinate outside as there was a toilet on site for them to use, My London reported.
Commenting on the ruling to grant Fit Kitchen the right to serve alcohol, City of London councilor chair Mary Durcan said: “This has been one of our least difficult applications so we’re very happy to grant the licence as such and we wish you all the very best.”
According to My London, representatives of the church still stand by their objection to the liquor licensing application.
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