'We are not a nightclub': Tetto's Italian Kitchen boss denies rumours he wants 'open all hours' steak house in Highbury New Park
PUBLISHED: 11:06 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:25 19 August 2019
Restaurant bosses have slammed rumours they want to turn a Highbury steakhouse into an "open all hours" nightclub as "false information".
The owner of Tetto's Italian Kitchen, in Highbury New Park, will contest councillors' decision to refuse it a new premise licence on August 1, once he receives a written reply explaining the decision.
General manager Onur Siroren said: "Our biggest problems is the misunderstanding and the false information going around. The main concern here is the information is wrong. We are not a nightclub. We never applied for a nightclub licence.
"It sad. We are trying to be part of the community, trying to bring an old derelict building back to life."
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He claims the venue already has a "club licence" to play recorded music 24/7, provide live music until 1am on Monday to Thursday and Sundays, and until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
But council papers state that: "Due to renovation works at the location this licence is unable to be used as the layout plan does not reflect the existing layout of the premise."
The building was also licenced to sell alcohol on Monday to Thursday and Sundays until 1am, supply booze until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, and host dance performances late into the night.
By contrast, Mr Siroren argues Tetto's wants an amended licence where the hours it can sell alcohol and play music are reduced, and has offered to forgo their permission to host dance performances.
Controversial renovation works at the site, formerly the White Horse Pub, have seen a conservatory built without planning permission. Mr Siroren said his boss Kurt Salmon applied for retrospective planning permission as soon as he realised the error, but this was refused by councillors in May, a decision Tetto's will appeal. The restaurant is currently operating a bring your own booze policy during the week and using temporary event licences to sell booze on the weekend, which Mr Siroren says is hurting the business.
There were 28 objections to the original application, including from Highbury Quadrant neighbour Cllr Sue Lukes.