‘Bombarded by licences’: Broadway Market residents hit out at cafe’s booze bid

Broadway Market

Residents living close to Broadway Market say their sleep is disturbed by people drinking nearby and idling minicab engines.

They shared their concerns with Hackney’s licensing sub-committee as it heard an application to serve alcohol at the latest branch of the family-run Cafe Route.

The eatery has older branches in Dalston and Haggerston and will offer Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food.

Brothers-in-law Mehmet Akis and Mehmet Uzunsakal say they aim to serve wine with meals and small plates and do not want customers to drink without ordering a substantial meal.

“We are trying to boost the food side of the offering,” Uzunsakal told the committee (3 August).

He explained that they are trying to build a brand with the same fare at each of the Hackney cafes.

“Our aim is not to feed people who want to booze 24/7,” he said.

“We are looking to complete our offering with a glass of wine, with a cheese board in the winter. It’s the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern offering.”

He added: “The audience we are targeting is the locals who will have a meal with us every now and then.”

The cafe plans to sell takeaway wines from £15 a bottle.

It has applied for a licence to serve alcohol from 11am until 10.30pm from Monday to Thursday and on Sundays, and until 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

The owners say they would drop plans for off-sales at Broadway Market if necessary as part of the licensing conditions. They pointed out that if people who bought food to take away to London Fields wanted to drink alcohol, they would simply buy it elsewhere.

Nearby residents from Dericote Street and Croston Street say they are already affected by noise from people drinking nearby and object to the prospect of off-sales of alcohol.

They are also concerned about people drinking at outside tables in the late evening.

Rachel Bowditch told the licensing committee: “We do strongly object to outside seating at night time, even with substantial meals.”

She pointed out that idling minicabs nearby in Dericote Street already disturb residents.

Louise Brewood, who chairs London Fields Safer Neighbourhood Area, said the streets around Broadway Market suffer from anti-social behaviour and could be designated a saturation area.

“There is drunken behaviour quite often from 2pm to 3pm in the afternoon when children are coming home, right through from Broadway Market,” she said.

“Residents are very worried that we are constantly being bombarded by licences in an area which is largely residential but is becoming part of the night-time economy.”

She added: “We are seriously concerned about noise levels coming from this premises if it is granted a late licence.”

Cllr Penny Wrout warned that clients at Broadway Market might have different expectations from customers at the other branches.

Hackney’s licensing sub-committee will make its decision within five working days of 3 August.