Angry residents brand Islington restaurants outside dining area a “public nuisance”

Le Vita E Bella - Theberton Residents Association

Le Vita E Bella - Theberton Residents Association - Credit: Archant

A popular restaurant’s outside table and chairs have left residents at loggerheads, with objectors branding them a “public nuisance”.

Mem and Laz, and sister restaurant La Vitta e Bella, are the subject of a fierce fight between residents of Theberton Street, off Upper Street, Islington.

Infuriated members of the Theberton Residents’ Association have mounted a campaign against the Italian eatery, claiming the outside summer dining facilities are “totally out of control”, blocking the street and showing a “total disregard for residents.”

Campaigners are demanding a review of the bistro’s licensing plan, hoping to stop the “congestion” and “obstructions”, while supporters hope the “lively” atmosphere and summer dining options will be allowed to stay.

A portfolio of photos has been made by residents, showing narrow pathways and bustling diners posing “obstacles” including prams, chairs and suitcases.

The popular Islington haunt is hoping to keep a planning licence allowing numbers of chairs, tables and advertising boards to remain on the sidewalk outside the restaurants, while the TA has submitted an application for a review.

Some residents have sent letters of support, telling the council the tables are “not a concern” and “benefit the area by making it more lively.”

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The restaurant was warned by enforcement officers about the “public nuisance” last year, after numerous complaints from the public.

The planning and licensing meeting will take place on Tuesday, when the fate of the eateries’ outdoor dining will be sealed.