Drinks licence conditions relaxed for Brighton deli and hamper firm

Licensing chiefs have given a luxury hamper company permission to stock a wider variety of alcoholic drinks.

Artisan Deli Market, in Duke Street, Brighton, can expand its drinks display area and serve alcohol in an indoor café.

The store can also sell craft gin and rum through its hamper business after winning over councillors at a licensing panel hearing.

Artisan Deli Market director Helen Gordon told the Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel that its hampers were competing with big names such as Fortnum and Mason and Selfridges.

She runs the business with her son Harry and they wanted to offer products such as Brighton Gin in their hampers.

But the company was granted a licence in 2019 to sell craft beer and wine from a display area no more than one metre by two metres.

Sussex Police said that the display was found to be too wide during a licensing inspection but Mrs Gordon said that this was for aesthetic reasons.

Wine bottles were displayed in crates which were about 30cm wider than permitted although the display was not as high as it was permitted to be.

The licensing panel’s decision also means that deli’s café – which serves charcuterie, cheeseboards and “gourmet toasties” – can also expand to the first floor and offer alcohol with food.

Sussex Police had opposed extending the licence because the Duke Street store is in a busy part of Brighton where several other licensed businesses operate.

The busy central area of Brighton and Hove has been designated a “cumulative impact zone” where council policy restricts new drinks licences to try to contain alcohol-related crime and disorder.

The licensing panel said in a decision letter: “The panel … is very mindful of the location of the premises … and of the need, therefore, to ensure that the application will not add to problems in the area.

“The panel are, however, satisfied that if a more limited and restricted application is granted, it will be unlikely to add to negative cumulative impact.

“There are also exceptional circumstances in that a licence exists already for off-sales and service to outside seating areas.”

The panel also said that no more than 50 per cent of the store’s hampers should be alcohol but put no limits on the type of drinks available.

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