A restaurant has been allowed to extend its license to an outdoor courtyard so diners can eat and drink outside, despite fears it could lead to public nuisance, crime and disorder.
Verbena in Newquay had applied to Cornwall Council to extend its premises license.
The application, which was presented to the council’s licensing law sub-committee yesterday, drew objections from Newquay City Council and local businessman Louis Gardner. However, the city council withdrew its objection at the meeting after being satisfied with a response provided by restaurateur Adam Banks.
Mr Gardner, who is also a Cornwall councilor but was addressing the committee in his capacity as a local business owner, said he was concerned about possible safety issues around the restaurant using the courtyard. He was also worried that it would lead to public nuisance, crime and unrest.
One concern was that fire exits from several businesses, including a nightclub, led into the courtyard and Mr Gardner feared this could be compromised by the restaurant having tables in the area. Mr Banks said the courtyard would not be used beyond 11 p.m. and the committee added a condition that tables and chairs should be removed at the end of the night.
Committee members were confident that Mr Banks and his owner had taken steps to address these concerns and had also added conditions to the license to make it acceptable. They noted that there were no objections from statutory authorities, including fire and police.
Mr Banks, who was previously head chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, said the restaurant was looking to provide high-end meals for customers and was not looking to host bachelor or hen parties. He said he wouldn’t serve burgers or pizza.
He told councilors he wanted to create a year-round venue that would be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. He said it would be a place where people might want to treat their partner for a birthday or a birthday meal.
Mr Banks said he and his business partner have a passion for food and in particular Mediterranean and Portuguese cuisine which will influence their menu. He added that they wanted to use seasonal local produce and that their food offerings would vary depending on what was available from local vendors.
The chef said: “We are focusing on the local community with hopefully some tourism in the summer. The main aim of the restaurant is to offer something nice all year round, not to close in winter and to be an accessible restaurant for the local community.
“We’re not interested in stag or hen parties, that’s not what we want. We will be using local growers, suppliers and fishermen, the menu will change depending on what they are growing or catching at the time.
Mr Banks explained that the current restaurant has 16 tables inside and the plan was to have four or five more outside in the courtyard. He said he didn’t want to block any escape routes or prevent other businesses from using the yard.
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Responding to concerns about noise and disruption, he said: ‘We’re not going to be serving parties and we won’t have people standing around drinking, that’s not what we’re here for. We’re not going to make a lot of money from this, we’re not going to serve crap or pints of beer or shots. We’re just trying to have a good restaurant in the middle of Newquay that people can enjoy.
The committee agreed to grant the license subject to the conditions which had already been agreed with the applicants, as well as conditions that all evacuation areas must be cleared, tables and chairs must be removed on time closing time and CCTV should be installed to cover the outside area. .
. Verbena Newquay obtains authorization for the tables full air