Upper Street coffee shop to start selling "quality" wine despite noise objections

Wine glasses from the Stolzle Revolution glassware collection

An Islington coffee shop has been granted a license to sell wine, from 8am to 10pm. - Credit: Aldiss

People escaping the daily grind will be able to buy a bottle of wine at a new coffee shop in Islington’s popular Upper Street.

Simon Peace from High Ground said the coffee shop would not be a venue for people who wanted to drink heavily, but would give them a chance to enjoy a quiet glass of wine and buy a bottle to take away.

The cafe will offer pastries, cakes and sandwiches, with wine for sale only taking up 15 per cent of the small space. It can seat just 35 over two storeys, with the potential to seat six more outside.

Stewart Gibson, acting for High Ground, told Islington’s licensing committee: “Quality over quantity will be the message.”

Peace already runs a similar coffee shop in Ealing with his wife in a similar impact zone to Upper Street.


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He applied to sell alcohol for off sales from 8am to 10pm for customers to enjoy in the cafe. Upper Street is in a cumulative impact zone as there are many bars and restaurants serving alcohol.

But objectors wrote in concerned about noise.

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One household told the council that despite installing double glazing, “other venues are already causing us and other neighbours many problems, with music, food and alcohol being served until late”.

They said their school age daughter’s “sleep is already severely impacted every week , from Thursdays to Sundays.”

The letter went on to say the family was concerned about the possibility of their daughter witnessing “drunkenness or threatening behaviours”.

Gibson said that as bottles of wine would mainly cost between £15 and £25, with nothing less than £10, “if you are of the ilk who wants to come along and see how much alcohol you can pour down your throat, it would be an expensive business”.

He added: “There are other places down the road.”

Peace said: “Rent is quite high on Upper Street – income from wine would be a welcome addition.”

Cllr Angelo Weekes wanted to know how staff would prevent vertical drinking.

Peace explained the licence would only allow people to drink alcohol whilst seated: “Nobody can be served wine standing up, it will make it too crowded."

The licensing sub-committee approved the application (August 3).

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