GoPuff to NoPuff
You may recall that an application for a premises licence for GoPuff at 176 Aldersgate Street was submitted in April. By way of reminder the application stated that it was “to facilitate a grocery service that requires the sale by retail of alcohol off sales Monday to Sunday 00:00 to 00:00 and on sales Monday to Sunday 08:00 to 23:00 …”.
Many objections to the application were submitted on the grounds of the Prevention of Public Nuisance and a Licensing Sub-Committee Hearing was held on 18th May 2022 which concluded that it was necessary to impose conditions upon the licence and therefore ruled that there was to be no delivery of alcohol from the premises at any time and that customers would be required to collect any alcohol purchased from within the premises between the hours of 8am to 11pm.
This decision was clearly not what GoPuff required and it was particularly pleasing to hear from the City of London Licensing team that they have recently been informed by a representative of GoPuff that the company no longer wishes to take up the premises at Aldersgate Street. Hence it is their intention to NOT trade from that site.
Good news indeed – for now, anyway!
Pavilion Bar & Restaurant
An application for a premises licence was submitted in May 2022 by a new company, The Pavilion Bar & Restaurant, which wishes to operate from Retail Unit 3, 200 Aldersgate Street (the old EAT business location). Essentially, the original application was for the supply of alcohol on and off the premises, daily between the hours of 10am – midnight. There were many objections from local residents, primarily on the grounds of the Prevention of Public Nuisance and a Licensing Hearing to determine the outcome of the application has recently been held.
Site to be used to promote art and philosophy
At the Hearing, the applicant accepted that the original submission did not accurately reflect the true purpose of the venue and explained that, whilst the public will be able to purchase food and drinks at the premises, events to be held there will be targeted at an audience interested in the arts and/or philosophy. It was stressed that the venue had not been designed to be a late-night bar or nightclub and that the applicant is involved in a group that organises tours to cultural centres across London. The proposed venue is therefore intended to operate as a bar and restaurant promoting the arts and philosophy by providing a space for artists and delivering workshops, seminars and presentations on these subjects. The venue would become a fixed location for these events.
Reduced hours of operation
Ahead of the Hearing, the applicant had “considered the concerns of the local residents and sought to address them especially in relation to public nuisance” by reducing the licensing and opening hours requested and no longer requiring the service of late-night refreshments.
Licence granted on this revised basis
On this basis, the Licensing Sub Committee concluded that it would be possible for the Applicant to operate the premises in accordance with the licensing objectives, and a premises licence was granted for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises daily between the hours of 12pm – 11pm, for consumption off the premises daily between the hours of 12pm – 10pm and for daily opening times of 7am – 11.30pm. By way of reassurance, the provision for off-sales of alcohol was required solely to allow the sale of alcohol to customers in the outdoor seating area until 10pm and only if a pavement license were to be granted.
Whilst the concept of the premises’ proposed modus operandi still sounds somewhat unusual, it is pleasing to note the reduction in the requested licencing and opening hours. Time will, of course, determine however the success or otherwise of this arts and philosophy venue.