A restaurant with a function room in an old bank in Shirehampton can serve alcohol to guests despite neighbours’ objections.
Ruby Jeans, which opened in the former NatWest bank in The Parade last month, was granted a premises licence by Bristol City Council on January 6.
But business owner Mark Pummell had to argue his case before a licensing committee after three of the restaurant’s neighbours objected to his licensing application.
Married couple Martin and Phil Goodall, who live opposite the restaurant, expressed fears about the venue “morphing” into a “drinking establishment”.
Marcus Pugh said he and his family worried the function room would be hired out for discos and parties, creating an “incredible amount of noise”.
The restaurant is on the ground floor of a two-storey building at the corner of The Parade and Station Road, and the function room is upstairs.
The building, which was a bank until 2019 and more recently a fabric shop with a small café, sits in a row of shops next to the local Post Office. Houses sit behind and opposite.
Mr Pummell told the licensing hearing that he and his partner opened the 40-seat restaurant after two years’ running a small but popular cafe in the village.
They plan to add seating for an extra 20 patrons on the pavement outside, and hope to host “community events” such as supper clubs in the function room, he said.
They applied for a licence to serve alcohol until 10.30pm and play live and recorded music until 11pm every day except Sunday, when the doors must shut at 10pm.
Mr Pummell admitted he and his partner did not know what sort of events the community would want to hire the function room for, but said they would make sure sound levels were “acceptable” as they wished to respect their neighbours.
Mrs Goodall said other businesses in that corner of Shirehampton kept “normal” hours and the licence would introduce “a night-time venue into something that has been a quiet backwater”.
But Mr Pummell disputed the corner was a “quiet backwater” saying he had heard anti-social behaviour and found broken bottles and drug-taking paraphernalia outside the Post Office.
“We hope that, with us providing the light [at night] and the security cameras, that we potentially could hopefully resolve some of these antisocial behaviours,” he said.
The committee granted the licence with a number of limitations on the use of the outside area. That area must have table service only, that service must cease at 9.30am, and the area must be cleared by 10pm.
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