Hove restaurant’s future in doubt after owners are refused drinks licence

Posted On 14 Jun 2016 at 12:23 pm

The future of a restaurant in the centre of Hove is in doubt after the owners were refused a drinks licence by the council.

Barcode, in Church Road, had been trading without a valid licence, according to evidence presented to a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel yesterday (Monday 13 June).

The company that was originally running the premises, Barcode Hove Limited, went into liquidation in December, owing nearly £200,000, having started a voluntary winding up process in November.

It owed nearly £10,000 to the council and £130,000 to Revenue and Customs and the council had begun legal proceedings after accusing Barcode of breaching a noise abatement notice.


A month before the winding up process was formally started, the Iranian family behind Barcode – the Abdolkhani family (sometimes spelt Abdulkhani) – formed a new company called Code Hove Limited.

A report to the licensing panel at Brighton Town Hall yesterday referred to conversations between council officials and Emad Abdolkhani.

Mr Abdolkhani was a former director of Barcode Hove Limited and ran the business with his brother Foad, 28, the sole remaining director and the designated premises superviser.

It said that Emad’s partner, Sara Elisabeth Hohendahl, 23, was the director of the new company but Emad remained the manager of the business and “the face of the company”.

Code Hove is registered at an address in Gordon Mews, Gordon Road, Portslade. It was initially set up by Rahim Abdulkhani, 53, who runs Orsino, across the road from Barcode, which is in the old TSB branch on the corner of Osborne Villas.

A previous director of Barcode Hove Limited was Ali Abdolkhani, 58, who also owns 128 Church Road Limited, a company set up last month, after Barcode was told that it needed a licence.

The licensing panel received an objection from ward councillor Andrew Wealls who wrote that Barcode “has been a nuisance to neighbouring residents”.

Councillor Andrew Wealls

Councillor Andrew Wealls

Councillor Wealls said: “I have no confidence that the designated premises superviser Foad Abdolkhani is a fit and proper person to undertake this role.

“The premises have been subject to repeated complaints by neighbouring residents to which Mr Abdolkhani has been extremely unresponsive.

“Officers from both the planning enforcement and environmental health departments at Brighton and Hove City Council have struggled to engage with Mr Abdolkhani when dealing with these issues.

“There have been complaints regarding a statutory noise nuisance caused by a noisy flue which Mr Abdolkhani has repeatedly failed to address. It remains a nuisance.

“The flue does not have planning permission and he has repeatedly failed to make an application despite repeated interventions from the council’s Planning Enforcement Department and is subject to a planning enforcement notice.

“Neighbouring residents complain that music is played through speakers on to both Osborne Villas and Church Road at which tables are situated. It has no permission to do so.

“It is in the public domain that Barcode Hove Limited, of which Mr Abdolkhani was sole director and is currently in liquidation, names Brighton and Hove City Council as a creditor for £9,579.98 and HMRC for £130,546.22. Total creditors amount to £193,011.56.

“I do not believe Brighton and Hove City Council can have confidence that Mr Foad Abdolkhani is a responsible person, capable of undertaking the role of designated premises superviser and request that the application is denied on these grounds.”

Six neighbours set out similar objections and a council environmental health officer Scott Castle had also detailed the difficulties experienced by the council in trying to ensure Barcode complied with the law.

Barcode has been relying on temporary event notices to be able to sell alcoholic drinks legally and may now appeal.

  1. Mrs Thornton Reply

    Why is hmrc letting companies run up such a large bill the other priblem in hove is the cash only places hives becoming dodgy

  2. Nathalie Reply

    It would be a shame if this cannot be resolved because this is a good restaurant all though cannot comment on nuisance this restaurant causes which I’m sure is extremely frustrating on local people but I do agree the owner needs to be trying to resolve such issues and isn’t helping the situation . . On the other hand does every restaurant need to sell alcohol? ..

  3. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    This place always looked set to be well-dodgy, such was the protracted business of its conversion, with wires hanging outside.

    When on the council, i represented residents at the Panel, and said, “this Application by Barcode does not scan.” What amazed me was that the owner thought we should be impressed by its name as he had seen one called that in Washington.

    He was given permission with many Conditions. I was amused a little later to walk by it one evening and see him, on seeing me, leap across a hen-party table and get them to close the windows on Osborne Villas as it was past the curfew time.

    At the first Application, he was represented by former Policeman and now licensing consultant, the heavy-hitting, loquacious Doug Simmonds who, when attention was drawn to the long bar in a place touted as a restaurant, he came out with the surreal line, “it’s not a bar, it’s a servery.”

  4. Nick P Reply

    It’s incredible that they are able to ‘dodge’ this huge amount of tax, and debts to suppliers and get away with it! The same family also own Otello & Orsino, who have also closed companies in a similar way leaving large unpaid debts. Vote with your feet people!

  5. KJ Reply

    The family running these place clearly have no ethics or morals, and are happy to line their own pockets at others expense. No wonder they all have flashy cars with personalised number plates!!

  6. Jacqui Madders Reply

    Corruption in the City…yet again.
    Why don’t they just accept it is no alcohol…no problem. Nice food.
    How do they get away with it?

  7. Jessie Reply

    These 2 brothers think they are clever and they can get one over us hard working Tax payers.
    Emad & Foad Abdulkhani have bought shame to the restaurant industry. I work in a national restaurant chain in the lanes, my taxes get deducted automatically. when i visited Barcode on church road in Hove 3 weeks ago on Wednesday i was offered wine as long as i paid cash for it by a young looking arrogant guy who claimed to be “the owner”.
    now i understand why!!!! shame on you.
    i know of at least one supplier that is 4500 out of pocket when the two brothers who own the freehold of the shop drive around in very expensive cars.
    pay your bills first then drive these cars.

  8. Malc W Reply

    Jessie, I would urge you to report them to the licensing authorities if they tried to sell you you alcohol. They will take this very seriously. email ehl.safety@brighton-hove.gov.uk

  9. Oliver trailer Reply

    Good news
    I’m happy for it .

  10. Bahar k Reply

    I been to barcode last week, they don’t have licenses to sale alcohol,but even the food very very bad .
    Don’t go to this restaurant.
    I hope close down very soon.

  11. Rufus Reply

    They have done it again!

    On 18th October 2019 Hm Revenue and Customs presented a petition for the winding up of Code Hove Limited. Would not be surprised if they owe Brighton and Hove Council again. Restaurant has closed but you never know it might reopen as company 3 with the same directors.

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.