'There won’t be anyone standing around drinking a bottle of beer' - Hove café owner faces objections to alcohol licence

Stoneham Good ItalianStoneham Good Italian
Stoneham Good Italian
A café owner told councillors that he had no plans to run a bar but just wanted to offer wine and beer alongside food.

Massimiliano Cristarelli gave the assurance after neighbours objected to his application to serve alcohol from 11am to 8pm daily at the Italian Good Café in Stoneham Park, Hove.

Mr Cristarelli spoke out at a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel hearing today (Wednesday 5 June).

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Those objecting to the application were concerned about children playing in the park in Stoneham Road and being exposed to adults drinking alcohol.

None of those objecting to the application attended the hearing but their letters were made available to the panel.

Licensing consultant Graham Hopkins told the panel of three councillors – Ivan Lyons, Paul Nann and Kerry Pickett – that draft licence conditions had been agreed with Sussex Police.

These included cordoning off the outdoor seating area and ensuring that no glass was used outside.

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Mr Hopkins said that the application was not “out of the ordinary” and that cafés in other parks in Brighton and Hove already had drinks licences.

He said: “We would like it to be possible for people to have a drink with food or without.

“The conditions require that they will be seated. There’s no vertical drinking. It’s not going to be a pub or a bar.

“There won’t be anyone standing around drinking a bottle of beer. They’ve all got to be seated and service will be through the staff.”

Alcohol would not be available for takeaway customers.

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Mr Cristarelli said that his customers had asked to have wine or beer with their food and were surprised that an Italian outlet did not have alcoholic drinks available.

He said: “We will just have wine and some original beer from my region but not too much.

“Many people have asked me before, you’re Italian, why don’t you have Italian wine?

“I have a lot of experience regarding alcohol because I own an off-licence near Queen’s Park and customers want to try wine which is why I made the application.”

The panel retired to make its decision which should be made public within five working days.