Brighton street food restaurant looks to reassure neighbours

A new restaurant in the centre of Brighton said that it had no plans to have outdoor tables or to operate a delivery service.

Indian Street food chain Mowgli was trying to reassure neighbours over its plans to open a branch in the old Oasis shop on the corner of Duke’s Lane and Middle Street.

One neighbour, Morne Kirstein, shared his concerns about potential late-night noise, street tables and deliveries at a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel hearing today (Monday 6 September).

Neither the licence application nor a current planning application included street tables or a request for alcohol off-sales.

Mr Kirstein said: “My concern is in a month’s time, or six months’ time, Mowgli is allowed to request to change this.

“I want to confirm this is set for the next couple of years – or is it only set for six months that they’re not allowed to sell outside their area or sell to patrons in the forecourt?”

He said that neighbours were not against the restaurant in principle but wanted a good night’s sleep.

Council solicitor Liz said that the company was free to apply to make changes to its licence through a variation. The council could not control what Mowgli chose to do in the future.

Neighbours originally objected to a potential 1am closing time but the company’s licensing consultant Karl Barry said that he submitted a “holding application” before negotiating terms in line with council policies.

The amended application would allow for alcohol sales from noon to 10pm from Sunday to Thursday and from noon to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Mr Barry said that he had dealt with all of Mowgli’s licensing applications for its 14 restaurants and had not made any applications to vary conditions in the company’s seven-year history.

He spoke about deliveries, saying: “It’s about the dining experience. During the course of the lockdown, due to covid, my clients shut all restaurants and did not resort to third-party deliveries.

“It’s about the quality of the food being presented and served straight away.”

Mr Barry said that Mowgli would not be applying for a pavement licence because there was not enough room.

Conservative councillor Dee Simson praised the application because the company had a policy of operating the “Ask for Angela” scheme.

Ask for Angela is a service where women experiencing harassment at a venue can ask for help from a staff member just by asking for Angela.

Mowgli was started seven years ago in Liverpool by former barrister Nishan Katona who is now a chef and food writer.

The panel’s decision should be made public within five working days.

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