New York-style restaurant coming to Lewes is granted licence

A New York-style restaurant is set to open on the site of the former Aqua premises in Lewes
A New York-style restaurant is set to open on the site of the former Aqua premises in Lewes

A restaurateur’s bid to secure a new premises licence has been given the go ahead by Lewes councillors.

On Tuesday (November 26), a panel of Lewes councillors approved an application for a seven-day premises licence to serve alcohol at 2 Old Court House in Friars Walk.

The premises, which sits below the Premier Inn, was previously occupied by the Italian restaurant Aqua until it closed its doors in May this year.

The application had attracted some criticisms from local residents, however, due to concerns over existing anti-social behaviour from late night drinking in the area. 

While some were withdrawn ahead of the meeting, residents had put forward objections on the grounds the new premises would undermine the licensing objectives of preventing public nuisance, crime and disorder.  None of the objectors attended the meeting, however.

Despite these concerns, the panel approved the licence on the terms applied for with alcohol to be sold up until 10.30pm seven days a week. 

Delivering its decision, the panel’s chairman Cllr Liz Boorman said: “The sub-committee took into account all the representations, however noted that the premises would primarily used as a restaurant with alcohol ancillary to food and provided by table service. 

“Also this would not be a late night venue attracting people from outside of the area.

“The sub-committee considered that the conditions offered in the application would adequately meet the four licensing objectives.”

According to council documents, the applicant SK Restaurants (Sussex) Ltd intends to re-open the premises as a “New York-style” restaurant.

The applicant is, also seeking non-standard opening hours for New Year’s Eve, allowing alcohol sales until 12.30am.

While the premises will include a bar area, the application says, much of the alcohol sold would be served to tables by waiting staff.

The applicant also offered a number of conditions intended to address the concerns raised by residents. These include CCTV monitoring and staff training.