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Oak Hill Park Cafe's alcohol licence will bring 'taste of the continent' to East Barnet
Family owners of a park café that was granted a new licence to serve alcohol say they want to bring a taste of continental Europe to East Barnet.
Ewa and Jacek Danielewicz, who have owned the Oak Hill Park Café in Church Hill Road for the past 17 years, were last week granted permission to sell alcoholic drinks with meals.
The decision by Barnet Council came after six years of enquiries and requests from the couple who have been desperate to expand their business.
A petition of 106 signatures opposing the move was dismissed as invalid by the licensing committee and members unanimously approved the licence – thought to be the first in the borough handed to a park café of this type.
Mother-of-four Mrs Danielewicz said: “We’re very excited. We can upgrade the café and bring an al fresco element to the park.
“This is something we have wanted for a long time but we have been told in the past it would never be possible. This is the final piece in the puzzle for our plans here.”
Supporters of the move handed in a petition of 117 signatures to the licensing committee, which assessed a number of concerns raised by objectors.
Among the criticisms were fears the licence would lead to rowdy behaviour and drunkenness in the family-orientated green space.
But no objections were submitted by the police or any other relevant authority.
Council officers wrote in their report on the application: “The business of the applicants has been operating well for many years and we are satisfied that they will, as experienced business people, do all that they can to make sure that no nuisance is caused to the local residents.
“The applicants have both taken and obtained personal licences showing their commitment to the successful running of the business.”
The café is now able to sell alcoholic drinks between midday and 10pm, seven days a week.
Co-owner and chef Mr Danielewicz is hoping the licence will help sway people’s attitudes to evening drinking.
He said: “In places like France and Italy, people sit out in the park and enjoy a meal and a drink in the evening.
“We will have total control of what people are drinking and we have been thinking of every possible detail to ensure everyone is happy.
“This is great news for us and for the park and we’re looking forward to the coming months.”
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