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Acton deli gets approval for ‘supper clubs’ despite some resident concerns

An Acton deli has been granted approval to host ‘supper clubs’ and serve alcohol several nights a week, despite residents’ concerns about potential noise issues. Freddie Woodruff, who runs NOCO alongside his business partner Alex Key, said he is ‘very excited’ to be able to host the evenings ‘where we can showcase our food alongside a delicious wine list’.

The premises licence, granted by Ealing councillors at a virtual meeting held Wednesday, January 31, includes a restriction on the number of late nights to Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with alcohol to only be served until 7pm the rest of the week. This was added after Mr Woodruff said he was willing to limit the number of evenings NOCO would remain open until the later 10pm finish.

Presenting the applicant’s case to Ealing’s Licensing Sub-Committee, Nick Semper, Lead Consultant at The Licensing Guys, said the owners have “no interest in running a sports bar or a boozer”, and highlighted the fact none of the responsible authorities had filed any objections to the submission.

“This will be no Wetherspoons or banging nightclub,” he said.

Conditions had been agreed with the police prior to the meeting, including ensuring alcohol is only sold with food, and no open vessels of booze be taken outside the vicinity of the premises.

Two objections were however received by residents living in close proximity to the Churchfield Road deli. One of them, Stewart Keiller, told councillors he does not object to a day licence, and is in-favour of it operating in the area. However, he added: “I don’t want to be unreasonable about it, but…noise is the main factor for both of us as residents who live there all the time.”

Mr Keiller later said he is also concerned about the scope of the licence, which did not stipulate it would be limited to occasional ‘supper clubs’, as outlined by Mr Woodruff.

Mr Keiller said: “But what if they’re so successful, they’re not occasional supper clubs, they’re supper clubs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, where I’ve got 11 people plus having drinks and dinner upstairs above my flat. There will be noise, you can’t have 11 people drinking alcohol and eating and not have noise. It wouldn’t be a very good place to be if it wasn’t.”

The other objector, Alex Pellew, said he has already had noise leaking from the deli into his home. He claimed the extension of its service into the evening, and the sale of alcohol, is not appropriate for the building.

“I just don’t want to be in a position where my mental health, our wellbeing, our quality of life is affected by this,” he said. “And if the core model is a deli ’til 7pm and then a supper club, then why don’t we have an alcohol licence until seven o’clock, and then an occasional usage licence for supper clubs?”

Acton deli gets approval for ‘supper clubs’ despite some resident concerns Harrow Online
Freddie Woodruff, who runs NOCO alongside his business partner Alex Key, said the company has been cooking food for the fashion and film circuit for a number of years. Permission to use for all LDRS partners. Credit: Freddie Woodruff.

Mr Woodruff told the committee the community had reacted positively to NOCO’s plans, and reiterated what they are proposing is not a bar, but food accompanied by alcohol on occasional evenings.

“What we are offering is really high-end, and the food that we offer and what we do is an asset to the community.”

Mr Semper also said the applicant would work to mitigate the impacts of noise on those living nearby, and would raise any issues with its landlord.

The committee voted to approve the premises licence, inclusive of the conditions agreed with the police, and the agreement that the sale of booze is limited to 8am to 7pm Sunday to Wednesday, and 8am to 10pm Thursday to Saturday.

Following the meeting, Mr Woodruff told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “We are very excited to have the opportunity to host some intimate evenings where we can showcase our food alongside a delicious wine list.”