Confusion over licence delays decision on whether Pedro’s replacement can serve alcohol to non-diners

The Pedro's building. Pic: Archant

The Pedro's building. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

The businessmen behind what used to Pedro's will have to wait longer to find out whether their planned rebranded restaurant can sell alcohol to people who have not ordered a meal.

Andre Serruys and daughter Annie in the former Pedro's building. Pic: Archant

Andre Serruys and daughter Annie in the former Pedro's building. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

The landmark restaurant in Norwich's Chapelfield Gardens closed earlier this year, after more than 30 years.

Director Matthew Ward said it just was not busy enough to remain open.

Mr Ward and fellow director Andre Serruys, who owns the lease on the building, are keen to relaunch it as an American diner called Harry's.

One of the changes they want to make is to be allowed to serve alcohol to people who were not buying food at the restaurant, including in the outdoors area.

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Norwich City Council's licensing committee was due to consider whether to grant a variation to the licence to allow that on Monday.

Solicitor James Childs, on behalf of the applicants, said they did not intend to turn the venue into a bar or pub and the emphasis would remain on serving food.

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But he said it was "restrictive" that only people purchasing a meal could consume alcohol at the venue.

The city council's parks and open spaces officer Mike Parker and NPS Norwich Ltd had both objected to the move.

But they withdrew their objections prior to the meeting of the licensing committee.

However, the committee ended up deferring a decision.

That was because of confusion over a separate seasonal licence and what that permits in the outdoor seating area over the summer.

The applicants were not able to produce details of that licence, so the meeting was adjourned until Friday, September 13.

Last month Norwich City Council refused a planning application for two side awnings to provide outdoor seating and a takeaway for the new venture.

A separate application for advertising signs has been partially approved.

The bid is part of the restaurant's new business model, which is aiming to provide a more diverse offering than its previous life.

Mr Serruys previously criticised the city council after it refused to sell the building to him and terminated the licence for vehicle access to the property.

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