A Caribbean restaurant will be allowed to sell alcohol from the former home of a once infamous Newcastle takeaway, after winning backing from councillors.
KK’s Caribbean Cuisine has been granted a new license by chefs from Newcastle City Council, after allaying fears the move could trigger a return to the problems endured by neighbors at the former Happy Chip. Local authority bosses previously stripped the famous takeaway, which was a well-known destination for legal highs and a hot spot for anti-social behavior, of its license in 2014 following an investigation into allegations that a woman had collapsed in front of the store after buying a drug there. which was later made illegal.
Residents of Waterloo Street feared they would face further nuisance after KK launched a bid to extend its license to serve and deliver alcohol until 3am every night. But after candidate Kerryann Pitter agreed to a series of concessions designed to avoid any negative consequences, advisers approved the plans.
Read more: Newcastle Caribbean restaurant’s promise to neighbors who feared the return of Happy Chip’s ‘horror’ years
Under the terms of the new license, KKs will only be allowed to serve alcohol to restaurant customers from 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and can continue to deliver food only until 2 a.m. The council’s licensing subcommittee said the Happy Chip had ‘attracted serious complaints and had a negative impact on the lives of local residents’, but the site’s new operator had made changes to ensure that it “operates with minimal impact on the local area”.
The panel added: “In view of the concessions offered by the claimant, including, in particular, the modification of the research request to alcohol sales only and the advancement of the end time, the subcommittee has felt that the combination of the existing operation, conditions and hours offered provide exceptional circumstances.Furthermore, the subcommittee was satisfied that the license amendment, as amended and presented to the subcommittee, would not add not to the cumulative negative impact on one or more of the license objectives.”
The panel also imposed conditions requiring KK to “endeavour to ensure” that the area outside the premises is kept clean and that all delivery drivers must wait inside while picking up orders after 11 p.m., rather than staying on the street. Ms Pitter said last week that her business ‘will not be any form of nuisance’, adding: ‘I wouldn’t want to leave the place to go somewhere else and then the next person to take over will affect the community.’
Prior to the hearing, objections filed with council by residents of the City Quadrant flats opposite described “the horror of the Happy Chip years” which “has completely ruined the lives of those who live in what is a neighborhood to predominantly residential”. A local warned that any connection to the closed takeaways ‘scares current residents who remember the noise, the mess and the drug abuse late into the night’.
Waterloo Street resident David Lydall told the committee hearing last Tuesday that the premises now occupied by KK had been a ‘constant problem’ since he moved to the area and raised concerns about noise from customers and delivery drivers causing disruption after 11pm.