Restaurant refused right to open later over fears it will be anti-social hotspot (From Times Series)
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Bombay Spice Bar and Lounge refused right to open later over fears it will be anti-social hotspot
An Indian restaurant has been refused permission to extend its opening hours owing to fears it would become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour.
Mohammed Chughtai wanted to have live traditional Indian music and dancers at Bombay Spice Bar and Lounge in Watford Way until 3am at weekends.
But at a meeting today Barnet Police urged Barnet Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee not to accept the changes.
Sergeant Mark Altman said: “There’s a genuinely well-founded belief that it would increase noise nuisance and become a destination venue for late-night revellers.
“Anti-social behaviour is likely to be exacerbated by these later opening hours.”
Sgt Altman visited the site last week and noted concerns that Bombay Spice was not complying with the Licensing Act 2003, including that its staff were failing to operate CCTV equipment.
In a letter to the committee, Sgt Altman also said the restaurant, situated near Apex Corner, used to have a reputation of having links with class A drug dealers before it changed ownership.
But Mr Chughtai insists his restaurant attracts a civilised clientele and has never had any problems with anti-social behaviour since he took over as owner a year and two months ago.
Bombay Spice currently stays open until 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays and until 12.30am Sundays to Thursdays.
Mr Chughtai told the committee: “While people are having food we want to have Indian dancers in front of the tables. Our clientele like to come late at night and some people like to sit down and listen to music.”
Despite this, the committee decided to reject his application on the grounds of preventing crime and disorder and public nuisance.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Chughtai said: “The decision wasn’t right – I’m disappointed. There have been no problems since day one. What happened before is nothing to do with me – I wasn’t there.
“I have been there for more than a year now, I’ve spent so much money on the place and everything’s okay.”
Mr Chughtai now has 21 days to appeal the decision.
Sgt Altman will also revisit the restaurant to assess whether it is compliant with the Licensing Act 2003.