Mobile cafe on Worthing seafront allowed to sell alcohol

A mobile cafe on Worthing seafront has been given permission to sell alcohol.

Worthing seafront near the junction with Heene Road
Worthing seafront near the junction with Heene Road

Manuka Bar & Kitchen, which has a van on the promenade opposite the end of Heene Road, has been granted a premises licence by the borough council’s licensing sub-committee.

It will be able to sell alcohol from 4pm to 8.45pm each day and set up three tables with 18 chairs on the beach.

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The application attracted dozens of objections with concerns raised about crime and anti-social behaviour, noise, littering and whether a beach – where families gather – was the right place to sell alcohol.

Paul High (Con, Heene) said he had been inundated with objections from residents.

Sharing their concerns, he added: “Children and alcohol don’t mix. This is in the wrong place. It should be nearer to the pier where there are lots of bars on the other side of the promenade.”

Addressing the meeting, a number of residents spoke about their fears that more and more people would gather on the beach to drink, would relieve themselves on the beach if the nearby public toilets were closed, and would leave rubbish behind when they left.

Others spoke in favour of the application, praising the attitude of the staff when it came to the cleanliness of the area.

The meeting was also told that, as Manuka had secured the site through the council’s Concession Scheme, it could have it taken away at short notice if problems arose.

Owner Ben Thompson told the meeting that three members of staff would be on duty at all times and would carry out litter sweeps as well as checking that the toilets were open and clean.

He said: “We take great pride in doing that properly and leaving the promenade in the same way as which we found it.”

As for the issue of anti-social behaviour, Manuka’s main venue has been in Portland Road for four years and Mr Thompson said staff were trained in how to deal with aggressive people and those who had had too much to drink.

He added that strict controls were in place when it came to how much alcohol people could be served.

On top of that, the company employs a security team which includes two cars patrolling the area, ready to offer support if needed.

He added that staff always asked for ID from anyone who looked under 25.