Published on August 6th, 2015 | by Dean Carr
Temporary alcohol licence refused
A restaurant owner in Nottingham believes he has been “unfairly treated” after he was denied a full alcohol licence for during the Ashes.
Zaheer Ibrahim served Nottingham City Council with a notice for a temporary event licence at Jewel, in London Road, The Meadows.
It would have lifted the current conditions – which prevent customers from drinking in the main bar without a meal – for six days, beginning the day before the fourth Ashes Test against Australia starts at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
But after objections from Nottinghamshire Police, which was concerned it could lead to “alcohol-related crime and disorder” – the council’s licensing sub-committee blocked the temporary licence.
Mr Ibrahim, 42, said he was angry about the police’s claim that he was inexperienced after running bars and restaurants in Nottingham – including Soft Bar and two Bombay restaurants – for the past 20 years.
He added: “I’m very disappointed with the decision. We’ve been able to use the outdoor bar to serve alcohol very successfully and without incident for football games and during the England v India test series last summer.
“We have a bizarre condition that means you can have a drink outside about 10m away from the inside bar but can’t take it inside unless you have a substantial meal, which puts people off coming.
“I had been looking forward to the Ashes like everyone else but now we will lose out. Why can everyone else benefit but not me? I really feel like I’ ve been unfairly treated.”
Mr Ibrahim, who took over a year ago, wanted a licence to serve alcohol and provide entertainment between 9am and 2am from Wednesday until Monday, and between 9am and midnight on Tuesday.
His lawyer Walaiti Rathore said the police had provided no evidence of previous issues at the venue and gave no valid reasons for an objection.
He added: “There’s a big poster [at Loxley House] about the Ashes welcoming people to this wonderful event but they can’t go to the Jewel on their way to Trent Bridge unless they have a substantial meal – it’s ridiculous.”
Both parties claimed the other had refused to negotiate about placing conditions on the temporary licence.
Inspector Jez Ellis said: “The Ashes has featured more and more drinking with the Barmy Army and there will be 5,000 to 6,000 people passing this establishment.
“Our concern clearly is putting an inexperienced licence operator in charge of a pub like this when they’re all coming out of the ground.”
Sergeant Mike Wearmouth, of British Transport Police, added that he had been working with other pubs, including Hooters, for the past few months and another fully-licensed venue would cause problems for the train station.
Councillor Brian Grocock, chairman of the licensing panel A sub-committee, said: “We felt it was appropriate at this moment in time that we shouldn’t reduce those conditions in reference to the event taking place as they have operated extremely well.
Source: Nottingham Post, Article by Dan Robinson.