Neighbours and police question whether Stoke Newington ‘bistro’ will actually be a bistro

The venue was formerly Dogu Food Centre. Picture: Google

The venue was formerly Dogu Food Centre. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

Police are questioning whether a new Stoke Newington bistro that wants to sell booze is actually a bistro – because bosses have said no cooking will take place.

Hasret Gumus is opening a new venue named Drury in the former Dogu Food Centre premises. Dogu had its licence suspended earlier this year for not paying the annual fee.

An application to convert the venue into a snooker hall was rejected earlier this year, but now the plan is for it to be a cafe/bistro serving simply sandwiches – and alcohol.

The venue does not have planning permission to run a bistro, and police have questioned whether that is the real intention anyway. In a report for the licensing committee, they said: “It describes itself as a cafe-bistro but then states no cooking will take place. The definition of a cafe or bistro is a small restaurant. If there is no cooking taking place, this simply becomes a bar.”

The venue is in the Dalston special policy area (SPA), where it is harder to get an alcohol licence due to the huge number of licensed premises already there.

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Neighbours in Foulden Road say the owners are trying to “bamboozle” them with misinformation about what the venue will actually be.

One said they had been told by the leaseholders that the venue will be a cafe by day and cocktail bar by night.

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“They have seemingly embarked on a campaign of disinformation with regards to displaying legal notices, giving us wrong dates and creating confusion.”

Another neighbour also said the night before Drury was taken over, “four to six gunshots were fired into the shop” in a “targeted” attack, and that “there has always been an intense smell of marijuana without fail coming out of the Dogu vents”.

A spokesperson for Drury, however, said the shooting took place two years ago, well before the company was involved with the premises.

A petition signed by more than 50 locals has objected to the application saying it will increase crime due to the drunken behaviour in the area, which already results in people defecating in front gardens.

The Gazette asked licensing police about the shooting incident but has had no reply. The owners of Drury could not be reached for a comment.

The application will be heard by councillors tonight.

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