Business owner loses late-night licence bid because of previous complaints, reports Vicky Munro, Local Democracy Reporter
A restaurant with a “troubled recent past” has been refused permission to open until 3am at weekends.
Chindies, owned by Nadeem Khan, was previously a club called Rebecca’s. The premises, in Leytonstone High Road, was previously run by Nadeem’s tenant James Wheatley, before he was evicted because of repeated police call-outs at the club.
Nadeem told Waltham Forest Council’s licensing committee he spent two years and “a lot of money” on closing down the nightclub because of the crimes that took place there, including a stabbing on the dance floor and a brawl of around 50 people just outside.
The new Chinese restaurant opened in the nightclub’s place had sought permission to open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, serving alcohol until 2.30am, in order to host private events such as weddings and birthday parties. Nadeem insisted the late opening times would not disturb neighbours, unlike the previous nightclub.
However, Labour councillor Marie Pye questioned why such events would require longer hours than any other venue in Leytonstone, including nightclubs and pubs.
She said: “The applicant says this is a restaurant, but it’s a restaurant that also has a bar in the basement and a dance floor.
“If people are having a birthday party, they are not going to be sitting around sedately… they are going to be wanting to have a bit of a party.
“It’s going to be noisy and that’s fine, until about midnight, but not until two or three in the morning.
“I’m afraid Leytonstone High Road was not called ‘party town’ for no reason and we are doing everything we can to try to turn it back into a good residential area.
“I know there were issues with the previous tenant but I can remember issues going back 15 years with these particular premises.”
Leytonstone councillor Clyde Loakes submitted a written objection to the committee, noting the premises’ “troubled recent past” but also alleging “there have been more recent issues”.
He wrote: “The location of this premises is very close to traditional residential streets. Is it fair that we should allow a late-night venue to suddenly spring up in such a location?
“The possible introduction of 21 hours [per day] of alcohol, noise and possible anti-social behaviour cannot go unrecognised or unchallenged.
“I’m afraid I can see nothing but harm coming to the community by allowing this.”
Nadeem told the committee he attempted to get the council to intervene even before the police requested the licence review and lost “a lot of money” evicting James Wheatley for breaking the terms of his lease.
He said: “We have made it into a beautiful, lovely family restaurant. I invite any of you to come have a look. It’s amazing.
“Whatever happened in the past with my tenant, please do not tar me with that brush, I have put my life, money and time into this place. Causing nuisance is the last thing we want to do.
“We are not a place where people come to get drunk and party, it’s all a family atmosphere. We will make it clear we do not want any drama, I’m going to try my 100% best to not have these things happen.”
After the debate, councillors on the licensing committee voted to reject Nadeem’s application.