Man wins licence for Covid-breach restaurant that was run by his brother
- Credit: Klodjan Xhaferrllari/ Archant
The brother of a man who lost his restaurant licence over a Covid breach will be allowed to start a "fresh business" in its place.
Klodjan Xhaferrllari applied for a licence to serve food and alcohol — both in-house and takeaway — at what will be "Lords Restaurant" on 82 Upper St Giles Street.
Previously, the venue was run by his brother Olgert, who was stripped of his licence following a lockdown breach.
Members of Norwich City Council's sub-licensing committee delivered the welcome news to 21-year-old Klodjan at a meeting on July 12.
Despite Norfolk Constabulary raising concerns at the meeting that his brother Olgert was still likely to have a role in the business because the siblings lived together and ran enterprises together, councillors took Klodjan's word for it that he alone would be responsible for the restaurant's "licensable activities".
Nick Semper, the agent speaking on Klodjan's behalf, said: "Olgert is now the proprietor of Kessingland Car Wash in Lowestoft.
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"He is very effectively out of the business, and in licensing terms has quite literally left the building."
Michelle Bartram, representing the police, said she had no grounds on the prevention of crime and disorder to object to the licence.
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However, she felt "obliged" to tell councillors that because Olgert's name was still on the lease — and he had advertised for roles at the business from his Facebook page — she was sceptical he would ever truly be "out of the business".
But Mr Semper said Olgert's name only remained on the lease because it would cost over £6,000 in legal fees to change it to his brother's name, and that he often posted things on Klodjan's behalf because his "command of the English language" was superior.
Resident David Cole and councillor Martin Schmierer, meanwhile, said they were concerned about noise, late-night traffic and detriment to the "character" of the area, with Mr Cole asking councillors to make the licence temporary.
Chair Ian Stutely, concluding the meeting, said that on the basis Public Protection and the police had both withdrawn their objections, councillors were happy to grant the licence.
It will last for 13 months, giving Mr Xhaferrllari one year's trading before it has to be reviewed.