The licensing officer reported that the Licensing Authority had made a representation which was withdrawn after conditions were agreed. Four residents had put in representations. No residents were in attendance but two had confirmed that they wished their objections to remain.
The applicant’s representative stated that this premises had a restaurant style licence but was a high-end cocktail bar. The variation application had been submitted to remove the maximum number of persons from 50 to around 65 persons and to remove the condition that alcohol would be sold ancillary to a meal. The police, noise team and the licensing authority had been consulted and the application had been an opportunity to substitute old conditions with new updated ones. He submitted that this application promoted the licensing objectives. There had been a joint representation made by four residents. Noise complaints had been made in 2017 and 2019 under previous operators. No representations had been made by the noise team, police or trading standards. The Licensing Authority had submitted conditions which had been agreed. It was considered that therefore this application would be capable of promoting the licensing objectives. There had been no representations made by local councillors. Local residents had been written to but no response had been received and in addition, residents had been invited to a meeting with the licensee but this offer had not been taken up. He considered that with the comprehensive operating schedule and the conditions, the application would not undermine the licensing objectives and he asked that the licence be granted as sought.
In response to questions, it was noted that the premises was not in a cumulative impact area. There was currently a 24 hour licence for recorded music in place. It was expected that the maximum number of customers could be 65 persons but numbers would be subject to a fire service risk assessment. There was an outside seating area which was limited to 10 smokers after 10pm. No drinking outside was allowed after 9pm. Staff would monitor the outside area. There were glass windows and staff would be able to see the behaviour of customers. It was unlikely that customers would wander onto the pavement area. There would be no vertical drinking. Music would be at background level. The licensing officer reported that music should be played at a background level and voices should not be raised in order to be heard. At this level, music was not considered to be licensable. The regulated entertainment had previously been for 24 hours daily and it was proposed that this be removed from the licence. The licensee’s representative confirmed that this was not a party place and would be ideal for groups of friends or couples. Most customers would be over 25 years of age and cocktails were in the region of £9. There would be glass collections every ten minutes and the glass windows allowed staff to view customers outside.
In summary, the licensee’s representative asked that the Sub-Committee grant the application.
1) That the application for a premises licence variation in respect of Islington Blend, 489 Liverpool Road, N7 8NS, be granted to remove:-
a) all the current Annex 2 conditions from the premises and replace with those agreed with the Metropolitan Police, Council’s Noise service and the Licensing Authority as detailed at pages 39-41 of the agenda.
b) regulated entertainment in relation to the playing of recorded music from the premises licence.
REASONS FOR DECISION
The Sub-Committee listened to all the evidence and submissions and read all the material. The Sub-Committee reached the decision having given consideration to the Licensing Act 2003, as amended, and its regulations, the national guidance and the Council’s Licensing Policy.
Four local resident objections had been received. Conditions were agreed with the Licensing Authority. There had been no representations made by the other responsible authorities who had been consulted.
The Sub-Committee noted that there had been noise complaints registered historically with previous operators but the current problem with the existing licence was that the conditions were designed for a restaurant. This operation was a cocktail bar. There would be no vertical drinking and everyone would be seated. As it was not a restaurant more than 50 people could be accommodated. The style of cocktail bar would be older adults. Music would be played at a background level so that conversation would be possible. In relation to the residents concerns about people congregating outside their properties, the applicant explained that there were partitions outside separating the pub from the street. Customers could be supervised as they would be visible from inside the premises which had large windows.
The existing premises licence had been in force for a very long time. The conditions on it no longer suited current requirements. With the advice of licensing and other responsible authorities a new package of appropriate conditions had been created.
The Sub-Committee concluded that there would be no negative impact on any of the licensing objectives. The licence, as varied, promoted the licensing objectives and the granting of the licence was in the public interest.
The Sub-Committee was satisfied that granting the variation of the premises licence was proportionate and appropriate to the promotion of the licensing objectives.