'Trojan horse'? Mahir Kilic denies accusations he wants to turn Dudley's Bakehouse into a bar ahead of 4.30am alcohol bid
PUBLISHED: 18:30 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:30 23 July 2019
A decision whether to grant a Dalston bakery a licence to sell alcohol until 4.30am will be made tonight.
Mahir Kilic claims he has spent £1.2m on bakery equipment which he has stored in the basement of Dudley's Bakehouse in Kingsland High Street, and denies suggestions he wants to turn it into a bar.
His main intention is to sell food products "like salt beef bagels" through a late night refreshment licence that he also wants to secure until 5am from Thursday through to Saturday, and has stated this is more important to him than the alcohol licence.
But Dave Atkins, the Met's licensing officer, has expressed concern to Hackney Council's licensing sub-committee which will decide its fate, that if the bid is successful, the venue could transition from a bakehouse into a bar.
"Should the lease be later sold to a third party this will leave the probability of the venue being transitioned on to a club, leading to an increase in crime and disorder," warned Pc Atkins.
A resident of Pellerin Road nearby, who is one of five opponents to the application, has stated in a letter of objection: "We benefit from more bakeries, but not ones that are a mere Trojan horse to create more late night bars that give nothing back to the area but more rubbish on the street, anti-social behaviour, late night noise, damage to property and so much more."
Mr Kilic, who has been a licensee for 16 years, told the Gazette the objections - including a statement on the Rio Cross Association's website encouraging people to object to the "license creep" - were "giving him a nervous breakdown".
"If you read the objections, that's not my intention - this is a bakery," he said.
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"It is a 24/7 operation which produces low fermented breads over 48 hours, and I'm only the second in London to do 48-hour fermentation.
"I have invited the police who have come and visited the premises and they have actually witnessed this a is a bakery, and it's not going to turn into a club.
"I have a massive production line in the basement and we would need to remove all the floors to take all the equipment out of the property."
He continued: "As a professional I've been representing Turkish-speaking individuals in supermarkets and takeaways all around England and Wales, and in Hackney alone I've done more than 2,000 applications. I've represented many clients including my neighbour and he's got a licence until 5am.
"We are employing 18 local people in this café, and it's a socially motivated business.
"There are so many shops shutting down because of this unknowns certainty about the EU, and it's so hard to employ people. We are trying to add to the community, and we are being made into a villain."
The bakery already has a licence to sell alcohol until 2am on Friday and Saturday and midnight on other days on the condition that customers order something to eat.
Mr Kilic named the bakery Dudley's after the haberdashery store that was located in the building before the Second World War.
"I wanted to keep the name, because it's a kind of a local heritage," he said.