Eastbourne cafe granted alcohol licence as owner seeks to ‘rework’ business

A long-running Eastbourne cafe has been granted permission to begin serving alcohol. 

On Wednesday (May 11), an Eastbourne Borough Council licensing panel granted permission to begin serving alcohol at the Rosy Lee Cafe in Seaside

The cafe’s owner, Kevin Gillett, told the panel the application came as part of plans to rework the business, described as a transport cafe, into a more restaurant-style business.

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While no objections had been raised by Sussex Police or any other local authorities with licensing responsibilities, the hearing had been called in light of concerns from a local resident.

Rosy Lee cafe in Seaside, Eastbourne

The objector, whose name is redacted in council papers, argued that the licence would contribute to existing issues of noise and anti-social behaviour in the area. The resident had particular concerns about people congregating to drink in the basketball courts opposite the business.

Mr Gillett disputed this argument, pointing out that there were already a number of off-licences close by to the basketball courts which would sell alcohol at a lower price point than he had planned.

He also pointed to the lack of concern from Sussex Police and the conditions he had agreed with them. These conditions, the committee heard, included an agreement that the business would not allow customers to take drinks outside onto the pavement. 

However, Mr Gillett also told the committee that as he is in the process of seeking planning permission to create a covered outdoor dining area and that he would like to be able to serve those diners alcohol as well. It is understood this area would be covered by the licence.

For more on these plans (which would also involve a rear extension to the building) see application reference 220261 on the Eastbourne Borough Council website.

Mr Gillett had been seeking permission to serve alcohol from 7.30am to 11pm, seven days a week (mirroring the business’ opening hours). The panel, however, had concerns about this early start time and reduced it to 9am in granting the licence.