Brighton café granted permission to serve alcohol

A new café in the heart of Brighton has been granted a licence to serve alcohol despite an objection from a neighbouring premises.

The owner of Wolfox, Kusaki and Food for Friends is joining with the homeware shop Workshop to open a new café called (of) land.

Customers will be able to buy the fixtures and fittings as well as food and drink from the premises in Prince Albert Street, formerly Fired Earth.

But the new venue is next to the Friends’ Meeting House, in Ship Street, prompting the Religious Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers, to lodge a formal objection.

They were worried that Sunday morning services and other events could be disturbed so the licence application was decided by a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel.

At the hearing, the Quakers’ representative, Penny Cloutte, said that the community was concerned about noise from music disrupting services as well as noise and smells from extractor fans.

The Friends Meeting House has held Sunday morning services in Prince Albert Street for more than 200 years.

The licensing panel said in its decision that the applicant – Wolfox director Fabio Lauro, 39, who attended the hearing with Workshop’s directors Jayson Tane-Smiler, 49, and 43-year-old Ryan Kersop – were “appreciative of the concerns of the Friends Society”.

The panel, made up of three councillors, said: “The applicants have addressed the concerns of the representation and have agreed to modify their activity accordingly.

“The panel does have concerns about the operation of the outside area and the applicants have agreed to further conditions for this area.”

The licence allows alcohol sales from noon to 10pm from Monday to Saturday and from noon to 9pm on Sundays.

Conditions attached to the licence include not using the outside pavement area before noon on Sundays, regularly clearing outside tables and closing the outdoor area 15 minutes before closing time or earlier.

The Society of Friends will also have a direct telephone number to contact the management team.

Mr Lauro said that he was very “satisfied and grateful” for the panel’s decision.

He said: “This is going to be a unique concept where design and sustainability engage with local farms and artisans to bring our customers an inspirational experience.

“Both my and Jayson and Ryan’s businesses share profound roots in quality, fairness and respect.

“This is why we wanted the Quakers to feel at ease and we are going to make sure that also our employees and customers at the new premises will always act respectfully.”

Workshop director Mr Tane-Smiler said: “We are very pleased to have been granted the licence to serve alcohol at the premises and that we have been able to agree licence terms that are acceptable to both the local councillors and our neighbours.

“We now look forward to opening our food and lifestyle venue and believe that the (of) land concept will enhance and strengthen the diverse retail and hospitality experience in central Brighton.”

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