One PUB chain owner said it was too easy for coffeeshops to obtain liquor licenses that would allow them to serve alcohol.
Golden Lion Group chief executive Dave Day spoke out when he protested a license application from the Small Batch Coffee Company of Church Road, Hove.
The cafe, which is on Wilbury Road, has applied for a license to serve alcohol from 12pm to 10pm.
Mr Day has seven pubs and bars in Brighton and Hove, including Hove Place on First Avenue and Libation on Second Avenue.
He told a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel that there were 14 cafes between Palmeira Square and George Street – and there was nothing preventing them from applying for a licence.
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At Tuesday’s hearing, he discussed when judges ruled license applications instead of councillors, saying that Small Batch lacked the experience to run a licensed operation.
Mr Day said: “The only reason they are going for this license is to win – win – if it works. I don’t understand the need for this.
“I am very disappointed that the council and police do not have enough power to stop these Mickey Mouse operations.”
Councilor Dee Simson, Chair of the Licensing Board, asked about other Small Batch Coffee licenses.
Council Licensing Officer Donna Lynsdale said the company had beverage licenses for its Western Road and Dyke Road branches at Seven Dials.
Small Batch accepted license terms proposed by Sussex Police which included restricting drink sales to people seated at tables and being served by waiters. Drinkers are not allowed to stand at a bar.
Neither the police nor Brighton and Hove City Council’s Permissions Department had any objection to the application.
Small Batch’s attorney, Heath Thomas, said the company intends to offer brunch with cocktails and afternoon and evening drinks.
He said: “This will not be a bar stand, get your fill of a variety of premises that would otherwise suggest this is a dank run drinking establishment.
“Substantial groceries will be available at all times when the premises are open.”
There is no kitchen on site but there is a small oven for heating up meals. Menus have not yet been finalized but are expected to include charcuterie platters of cheese and charcuterie.
Two council members, Anne Pissaridou and Alex Phillips, who both described themselves as Northerners, said they had an idea of what constituted “substantial food”.
Councilor Phillips said: “Eating cuts of meat is not what I personally would describe as substantial eating. I’m from the north so something warm would come to mind as something substantial – not reheated or some cheese and bread. This is dinner, not dinner.”
She was also concerned about possible noise pollution from people drinking on the outside terrace until 10pm, but Mr Thomas said no neighbors had objected.
The panel withdrew to make its decision, which is due to be published within five working days.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22773053.hove-drinks-licence-opposed-small-batch-coffee-company/?ref=rss Hove beverage license denied at Small Batch Coffee Company