Cafe can serve alcohol - despite neighbours' concerns

Rihanna Royall, owner, and Julian Richards, manager, at The Shack on Waterloo Road in Norwich. Pictu

Rihanna Royall, owner, and Julian Richards, manager, at The Shack in Waterloo Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

A new Mediterranean cafe has been granted a licence to serve alcohol despite concerns from neighbours.

The Shack, in Waterloo Road, which opened in a former florists in November, serves homemade sourdough pizzas, pastries, cakes and Mediterranean treats. 

Co-owners Rianna Royall and Jules Richards were granted a licence after addressing objections from neighbours over noise and takeaway alcohol sales.

The pair also want to make their venue a 'mental health hub', and there were concerns that it would not be appropriate to have an alcohol licence at such a site.

Pastries available at The Shack on Waterloo Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

Pastries available at The Shack in Waterloo Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Speaking to Thursday's licencing committee, Ms Royall said they wanted the license to add to the experience offered by the venue.

"There are quite a lot of pubs in the area, which we gather are quite male-orientated," she said.

"As a woman, I would like to bring somewhere women can come with the girls and have this more 'upper-class' experience, have a glass of wine or beer and enjoy the company. 

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"I don't want it to be a place where people come for just a drink without the meal, it's more of an addition." 

Julian Richards, manager at The Shack on Waterloo Road in Norwich, making a coffee. Picture: Daniell

Julian Richards, manager at The Shack in Waterloo Road in Norwich, making a coffee. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Ami Cattrall, who lives above The Shack, objected to the plans over noise concerns.

Ms Cattrall said: "There is already detrimental noise, especially in the mornings when they put out tables and chairs, it is loud and it does wake me. 

"The potential for alcohol being served, potential for music, when there are loud noises people often don't keep their voices down." 

Ms Royall said music would be kept to background levels, customers would be asked to be conscious of neighbours and a legal condition was imposed on using glass bins limited to between 10am and 9pm.

Mike Lorenz, who owns the nearby Whalebone pub, objected due to the possible impact of off-site alcohol sales, which he said could impact the pub and next door off-licence.

Julian Richards, manager, and Rihanna Royall, owner, at The Shack on Waterloo Road in Norwich. Pictu

Julian Richards, manager, and Rihanna Royall, owner, at The Shack in Waterloo Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Richards said alcohol, for both on and off the premises, would only be served with food.

Mr Lorenz also questioned whether alcohol sales would be appropriate, given the aim for the cafe to become a mental health hub.

However, Mr Royall, who is a mental health first aid instructor, said they wanted to work with Mind, the mental health charity, to offer free workshops to teach local business owners to look for issues in customers and know which services they can direct people to.

The application was unanimously granted by the licensing committee.

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