Dudley’s Bakehouse ‘confuses’ councillors in failed bid for later opening hours

Mahir Kilic

Mahir Kilic - Credit: Mahir Kilic

A popular Dalston bakery has been unsuccessful in its bid to serve alcohol and food late into the night, after councillors were left unconvinced by its owner that it would not add to the “cumulative impact” of licensed premises in the area.

Hackney's licensing committee admitted to being "confused" as the opening hours on Dudley's Bakehouse's application underwent multiple changes during the 24 July meeting.

One objector was prompted to ask whether "an hour in, we know what they're applying for".

Owner Mahir Kilic underlined the food-led nature of Dudley's, while the committee also considered objections from the Rio Cross resident's association, which previously accused the bakery of being a "Trojan horse" for a bar.

Kilic said: "We've been working hard to turn into a very nice bakehouse. We specialise in long-fermented products, such as sourdoughs and bagels.

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"The premises, because of what it's doing, is currently 24/7 operation. Even though the doors are closed, there is always someone who's baking something in the premises.

"While we have members of staff at the premises, I thought 'Let's start offering salt beef bagels at night'.

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"We are not just an alcohol-led business. We are asking mainly for late-night refreshment.

"There are loads of other premises around us with 5am licences, and already many other businesses open offering late-night refreshment. We are offering a diverse activity and products to customers who are on the street."

The Bakehouse's final revised application was one for a licence to sell drink with food until 2am from Thursday to Saturday, on which days it would stay open for late-night refreshment until 4:30am.

From Sunday to Wednesday, it would close at midnight.

However, Dudley's will now have to continue with its current license, issued in 2016, which allows it to serve alcohol until 10:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, and until 11:30pm from Friday to Saturday.

Police argued that the owner's request to remove a condition preventing takeaways after 11pm could make an "increase in motorcycle traffic outside the venue" more likely.

Cllr Brian Bell (Lab, Brownswood) said: "It's very difficult to convince me that anything staying open this much later will not have a cumulative impact. It's another venue that will sell alcohol late at night in our Special Policy Area. Why should we allow another venue where there's already a cumulative impact? Convince me."

Kilic responded: "People will have a meal and have alcohol with it. We won't have any dancing, music or any other activities, it will be just like a restaurant."

Businesses applying for later hours in the so-called Dalston Special Policy Area have to prove to councillors that they will not add to the 'cumulative impact' caused by the amount of licensed premises in the area.

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