Romanian corner shop asks permission to sell booze

Daniela Radu, the owner of La Denis on Dereham Road, lost her arm in a car crash back in 2019.

Daniela Radu, the owner of La Denis on Dereham Road, lost her arm in a car crash back in 2019. - Credit: Emily Thomson/Archant

A new Romanian food shop is hoping to bag an alcohol licence after a successful first few months of trading.

The premises licence for La Denis in Dereham Road, Norwich, has been put into Norwich City Council by shop owner Daniela Radu.

It was opened in January and Ms Radu's son, Denis Virtos, 25, from Mile Cross Road, who helps out with the business said a licence allowing the shop to serve alcohol would help boost trade.

Denis Virtos, 25, from Norwich, who is involved in his mother's business La Denis in Dereham Road

Denis Virtos, 25, from Norwich, who is involved in his mother's business La Denis in Dereham Road - Credit: Denis Virtos

Mr Virtos, who has lived in England for seven years and Norwich for three, said: "We have been trying to get a licence from the beginning when the shop opened.

"Many people come and ask us for drinks. They ask for alcohol when they come for food when they are doing barbecues.

"A licence would really help our business. We want to sell as much as we can."

He was unsure when it could be discussed by council officials but if approved staff could sell beers, wines and spirits from 8am to 9pm Monday to Sunday.

Alcoholic drinks will not be able to be consumed in the shop by customers.

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Mr Virtos added half the regular customers in the shop were Romanian but the rest were not, which his mother was pleased about.

He said: "It is more of a mix than we expected. People are really happy there are so many stopping by. 

"Norwich is a nice city. I know people from the Romanian community who come to people's birthdays or gatherings from other places in England and decide to come here because it is nice and quiet.

"The shop lease is for 20 years and we are not moving."

The 25-year-old added there were challenges for the business including increasing costs of produce.

La Denis was the lifelong dream of Ms Radu who lost her left arm and endured eight life-saving operations after she was involved in an accident on the Norwich Showground.

The car crashed into her in 2019.

The shop is named after her son, she explained: "My son was emotionally damaged after what happened. So, I knew needed to be strong for him and God gave me the power to keep going."