Norwich’s Cafe Istanbul gets green light for later hours - to serve tea

Cafe Istanbul on Dereham Road, Norwich.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Cafe Istanbul on Dereham Road, Norwich.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A cafe which wanted to open into the early hours to provide a place for Norwich's Kurdish and Arabic community to meet has been granted a licence extension.

But, after hearing concerns from neighbours, city councillors decided Cafe Istanbul, in Dereham Road, could have its licence to keep serving refreshments extended only until 1.30am, rather than the 3am sought.

Unusually, the premises was not seeking to sell alcohol, but to serve refreshments such as herbal tea to customers after 11pm, for which it still needed a licence.

Agent Paul Byatt, told councillors on the city council's licensing committee his clients were Msulims who were not interested in selling alcohol, but wanted to provide a place to go for they city's Kurdish and Arabic business community.

He said: 'There are lots of people in that community who work very hard in business up until the late hours of the morning and when they finish work they want somewhere to meet and socialise with members of their community. There isn't anywhere in Norwich they can do that which doesn't sell alcohol.'

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Neighbours and Norfolk police raised concerns over noise, which prompted councillors not to allow the 3am opening, while they also said outside tables could not be used for food or drink after 11pm.

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