Paper Dress Vintage seeks late licence for music and drinks – as police fear ‘nuisance on the streets’

Paper Dress Vintage in Mare Street. Photograph: Paper Dress Vintage

A vintage clothing shop’s bid to serve alcohol late at night has drawn police fears of drunk people causing “nuisance out on the street”.

Paper Dress Vintage in the Narrow Way on Mare Street will have its licence application decided tomorrow by Hackney Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee E.

The clothes shop, café, and events space wants to serve alcohol until 2.30am on Fridays and 3am on Saturdays, and host live music until 11pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends.

Its manager argues the venue already has planning permission to operate at these hours, and has a good record of being responsible opening late at night under temporary event notices.

But police have voiced concerns about the impact of this licence, especially during the busy summer months.

In a statement to the council’s licensing unit, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “Police are concerned that the additional hours [and] that the customers will be drinking alcohol will have an effect on their behaviour once they are on the street and interacting with others who are leaving the other bars in the vicinity.”

They added: “There is also the potential for a rise in anti-social behaviour in the area as more drunk people are on the streets during the early hours and looking for places to eat, a way home or generally loitering in the area being noisy and disorderly.”

The spokesperson called for a “dispersal policy” so that “customers leaving this venue do not cause a nuisance out on the street”.

However, Paper Dress Vintage says there is a demand for it staying open later, and stressed its track record of operating responsibly.

Hannah Turner Voakes, Managing Director at Paper Dress Vintage, in her application said: “The team are very experienced in operating late night establishments in a responsible manner and upholding all of the licensing objectives.

“In our history we have never had any serious issues relating to public safety or crime and disorder or any violent incident whatsoever.”

She said the venue has a trusted security team and CCTV cameras, and will leave at least half and hour between last orders and closing time.

Voakes added: “We believe that the kinds of activities we offer will have a positive effect on the area, provide a much needed safe space for local residents to socialise and enjoy cultural happenings till later in the evening and have a positive impact on the area.

Paper Dress Vintage started in 2007 and opened in Curtain Road, Shoreditch, in 2011, before moving to the Narrow May on Mare Street in 2015.

It has been granted 15 Temporary Event Notices to stay open later over the past 12 months.

The licence application being considered tomorrow includes the right to serve alcohol until 11.30pm from Sunday to Wednesday and until half-past midnight on Thursdays.

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